Women’s Soccer Can’t Win Them All

 

 

Radoslav Ivanov

The women’s soccer team played two very good games this week and showed great progress in terms of team play and cooperation. Last Friday night, the Raiders crushed Vermont 3-1, extending their unbeaten streak to five. However, the impeccable run ended on Sunday afternoon, when they lost 2-0 to regional rival Syracuse.

Colgate was in total control of the Vermont match sans the beginning and tail ends. The Raiders gradually gained territory, and in the 25th minute, senior Franny Iacuzzi scored after a making the most of a scramble in Vermont’s penalty area. Her goal allowed Colgate to take a 1-0 lead into the half.

The second half was no different. Colgate was pressing on the Catamounts, and it was inevitable that the Raiders would double the score. In the 56th minute, junior Josie Johnson passed a fantastic through ball to sophomore Jessica Bitsack, who made the most of a one-on-one opportunity by kicking the ball above Vermont goalie Eliza Bradley’s desperate dive to notch her first goal of the season. The Raiders continued to dictate the pace of the match, allowing Johnson to strike again with her third goal of the match in the 80th minute. She collected the ball a few yards in front of her team’s penalty area, ran all the way to the other goal and made a great diagonal shot that left no doubt about hitting the back of the net. Assistant Coach Chris McLain was very happy with the team’s performance.

“It was a great game,” he said. “It was probably the best game we’ve played so far. There was a great crowd. Vermont is a good team. Unfortunately, the record doesn’t show it.”

The match on Sunday barely began when Syracuse took the lead after Jen Taormina took a corner kick that managed to curve its way into the far end of the goal. The Raiders were shocked by this third minute goal, and it took them some time to recover and enforce themselves. It was a very physical game and it appeared Syracuse’s players were too strong for the Raiders. Just when it seemed Colgate was gaining momentum, Syracuse expanded its lead in the 24th minute when Amanda Acuri found herself uncovered near the penalty spot and scored past senior goalkeeper Carly Sousa. The Raiders entered the second half with the utmost determination to reverse the score. Both first-year Anna Baldwin and Bitsack had chances to get one goal back, but it was not the Raiders’ day.

McLain noted that the team could not maintain a good performance throughout the entire game. “We’re not playing a whole 90-minute game,” he said. “We’re either starting late or finishing too early.”

The Raiders faced their toughest opponent so far this season on Wednesday afternoon when they played Penn State. Although they have improved their game a lot since the first few matches, the Raiders were simply outplayed and lost 5-0. The Nittany Lions began pushing forward from the first whistle and got their first corner kick in the 2nd minute. Unfortunately for Colgate, they could not cope with the host’s early pressure and conceded an early goal in the 6th minute when Ashley Myers buried a shot from just outside the box. They continued to press on and made three more shots in the next three minutes. Penn State was in control and in the 31st minute, after converting on a one-on-one situation, Aubrey Aden-Buie doubled the score. They did not let up despite leading 2-0 and made several more shots before the end of the first half, making it 15 shots for the Nittany Lions versus one shot for Colgate by senior Franny Iacuzzi. The second half’s beginning mirrored the first’s when Penn State made a few dangerous attacks and quickly managed to score another goal in the 53rd minute courtesy of Katie Schoepfer. She picked her second goal of the day three minutes later after shooting from inside the box while uncovered. The score remained unchanged for 30 minutes while the Raiders were struggling in their attacks and Penn State seemed satisfied with their game and were no longer desperate for another strike. However, they got one last goal in the 88th minute when Danielle Toney beat sophomore goalkeeper Carrie Glass after a great counterattack.