Women’s Soccer Heads Into Postseason With Win

Spencer Serling

This weekend the Raiders finished the regular season on a high note. After dropping a midweek contest to Princeton, the Raiders responded on Senior Night and picked up a big victory against the American Eagles. With the Raiders win, they clinched the third seed in the Patriot League Tournament.

The Raiders came hoping to pick up the victory against Princeton in their final non-conference victory; however, they came up short. The Raiders defense held strong for the first 10 minutes of play until the Tigers broke through the defense with a good offensive opportunity. Sophomore Erin Cummings, who drew the start for the Raiders, was able to clear the ball out with the Raiders defense and avoid any trouble. The next opportunity for the Tigers came halfway through the first half, and after hitting the crossbar, the Raiders once again cleared the ball out of trouble. First-year midfielder Sarah Coy got the ball in transition and headed upfield attempting to put the Raiders on the board. Coy could not hit sophomore forward Sidney Parodie with her pass. The remainder of the half was scoreless and both team’s headed to the second half eager to get on the board.

The Raiders fell behind early in the second half, as Cummings made the initial save but the Tigers capitalized on the second opportunity. Just 10 minutes later, the Raiders were called for a hand ball in the penalty box and the Tigers converted on the opportunity to push their lead to 2-0. Coy got her second big play of the game when she took a shot from outside the box, but the Tigers goalie managed to tip the ball above the net and out of play. With 15 minutes remaining, however, sophomore Jenna Panepinto scored after aggressively pursuing her rebounds. The Raiders, however, could not capitalize on the smaller lead as the Tigers added onto their lead with two minutes remaining and won the match 3-1.

The Raiders headed back to Van Doren Field this past Saturday to take on American in their final regular season of the game. In a game that had seeding implications for the postseason tournament, the Raiders came out strong getting their first real opportunity early on. Junior midfielder Emily Manoogian corralled a short corner kick and found junior midfielder Caroline Brawner in the box, who could not score. For much of the remainder of the half, the game was scoreless with first-year goalie Breanna Mason coming up big in net. Making two big saves midway through the half, Mason stepped up on a corner kick and cleared the ball on the first and just barely got her hand on the ball on the next Eagles attempt to kept the game scoreless.

With two minutes remaining in the half, however, the Eagles caught a lucky bounce and barely squeaked the ball past Mason for the first goal of the game. The Eagles heeded into halftime with a slim 1-0 led, but the Raiders remained determined to get back in the contest. The second half began and the Raiders were buzzing from the beginning. After a missed opportunity by sophomore forward Taryn Tomczyk, the Raiders were finally able to convert. In the 55th minute, sophomore forward Catherine Williams beat two defenders at the top of the box before finding Manoogian who put the ball in the back of the net to tie up the game. Knotted at 1, the Raiders knew they victory was in sight.

With just 10 minutes remaining in the contest, the Raiders picked up their first lead of the game as Coy sent a cross from outside the 18 that got deflected off an Eagles defender and found the back of the net. Remaining strong for the final minutes, the Raiders picked up the victory over the Eagles. With their victory, they earned the third seed in the Patriot League and the right to home field advantage in their first game against the Bucknell Bison.”Home field advantage is crucial in this first round game,” Manoogian said. “This will be the last game played on Van Doren and we want to walk off with a victory. It’s also awesome to have our friends and families there supporting us creating a

great atmosphere.”

Contact Spencer Serling at [email protected]