Women’s Soccer Competes Well at Home

Alan Pleat

 The Colgate women’s soccer squad sought to keep their positive momen-tum alive as they prepared to host three tough inter-conference contenders: Al-bany, Harvard and long-time crosstown rival Cornell.

The lady Raiders began their home stand on Wednesday, September 5, against a relatively strong Albany team. Backed by surging senior Jillian Kint-er, the Raiders recorded a strong of-fensive assault on the bewildered Great Danes.

Kinter set the Raiders off on the right track with a powerful goal in the seventh minute of the first half off of an excellent-ly placed pass into the box by sophomore Caroline Brawner. Kinter was able to use her unmatched athleticism to beat her defender and zip the soccer ball through the net for the quick 1-nil advantage early on.

Yet the Raiders were not finished there. First-year Jenna Panepinto added to the Raiders’ onslaught with her first career col-legiate goal. A relentless Panepinto eagerly surged from the left side of the field and in a matter of seconds strategically placed a cross shot to the middle of the net which deflected off of a defender and clearly landed into the open part of the goal giving the Raiders a demanding 2-nil lead.

Unsatisfied with their two goal advan-tage, the Raiders continued their strong offensive first half with another textbook goal coming off the feet of powerful for-ward Kinter. Sophomore Chelsea Roche facilitated the play by relaying a strong pass to first-year and Alliance Bank Fe-male Player of the Week, Catherine Wil-liams, who subsequently earned an ESPN top ten caliber assist on the play by ef-ficiently making use of a header which landed right at the feet of Kinter for the easy score.

However, the Great Danes managed to cut the deficit to within two goals when Chelsea DeVerna managed to knock in a goal in minute 32 of the first half. DeVer-na was able to find open space to hammer in the goal when her teammate Despina Psomopoulos intercepted a misdirected Colgate feed on the offensive side of the field which allowed DeVerna to score Alba-ny’s first goal of the game with relative ease and precision.

Early in the second half of the dual, Williams was able to separate Colgate from Albany when she employed some effective low post dribbling in the box which inevitably was deflected by an Al-bany defender into the goal. This brought the game back to a safe three goal lead for a strong Colgate Raider bunch.

Colgate was then able to turn this opening game of the team’s three game home stand into a blowout when sophomore Jenna Raepple and sopho-more Caroline Brawner scored back-to-back goals to give the Raiders a com-fortable 6-1 lead. Following in the lead of teammate Williams, Raepple made use of a beautiful header off of a great assist from Kinter. Brawner immediately followed up Reapple’s goal to claim the Raiders’ final goal of the evening off of a pass from Reapple.

“I liked the way we established our game right from the start tonight. That pace and rhythm of play continued with everyone that stepped on the field,” head coach Kathy Brawn said. “Albany has some talented athletes, and it was impor-tant that we shut them down and not let them gain any momentum.”

Looking to add on to their three game winning streak, Colgate eagerly took to Van Doren Field on Friday at 7 p.m. to compete against long-time Ivy League rival Cornell.

Williams initiated Colgate’s strong of-fensive night against a challenging and able Cornell defense in the 15th minute of the first half by scoring an authorita-tive goal which landed in the upper right corner of the goal.

The surging first-year’s sixth goal of the season was facilitated by Roche when she effectively placed a free kick into the box allowing fellow sophomore Emily Manoo-gian to trap the ball down to Williams who happened to find herself in the right place at the right time. This gave Colgate the all-important early momentum with a 1-nil lead to kick off the game.

Cornell responded with conviction in the 28th minute of the dual when Jayann Gabrio executed a one player set maneu-ver. Gabrio earned the point off an un-lucky Colgate deflection which nonethe-less evened the score at 1-1.

Colgate almost instantaneously re-gained its focus when Roach fired a free kick which was barely deflected from the goal as a result of a brilliantly played diving save from Cornell’s Tori Christ. Christ continued her effective net play early in the second half when she ended a Colgate open attack at goal with a well anticipated save.

Colgate continued its pursuit of the goal when Williams recorded another goal on the night in the 66th minute of the dual. Williams scored the goal off of a well-placed cross from Kinter which allowed her to maneuver the ball effi-ciently into the upper right corner for a well-deserved goal.

Colgate all but clinched the big victory with a big goal from freshman Lexi Pan-epinto, who fired a shot from the 18-yard box which landed over the head of a helpless Christ for the score. Panepinto was assisted by teammates junior Klara Jenkins and ju-nior Kelsey Hough. This gave the Raiders a demanding 3-1 lead over the Big Red.

The Raiders never looked back after that point and recorded a great 3-1 victory over a tough Cornell team that has start-ed off their season with a disappointing 0-3 record.

Colgate clearly outplayed Cornell, with the Raiders outshooting their rival opponents a significant margin of 19-6.

“This was another fantastic team ef-fort. Against Albany, we saw Ashley Walsh make one of the best saves in Raider soc-cer history and tonight Chelsea Roche, Emily Manoogian and Williams linked up for what was among the most spec-tacular goals in the 30 year history of the program,” said Brawn.

The women’s soccer team looked to add on to their solid four game winning streak with a clean sweep of their second home stand of the season against another strong Ivy League opponent, Harvard.

Colgate earned the initial momentum once again when Kinter headed the soccer ball effectively into the back of the net, giving Colgate the early 1-nil lead at the end of the first half of play.

Kinter was assisted on the play by Wil-liams who made use of some quick drib-bling to beat out her Harvard defenders which inevitably created the scoring op-portunity for Kinter in the low post of the box.

However, the 2011 Ivy League Cham-pions evened the score at one early on in the second half off of a corner kick which allowed Price the opportunity to spectac-ularly head the ball into the net evening the game at 1-1.

Colgate’s goalie senior Ashley Walsh kept the game in contention by record-ing a few beautiful saves off of some tough shots on goal by Harvard’s Emily Mosbacher and Meg Casscells-Hamby.

Yet, the Crimson managed to break the stalemate just a few minutes after Casscells-Hamby’s shot on goal when Elizabeth Weisman recorded a bril-liant assist across the box allowing Urke to easily knock in the score. This gave Harvard a commanding 2-1 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of the game.

The Crimson added on to their ad-vantage when Casscells-Hamby avenged her previously failed shot on goal with a commanding breakaway score giving her two goals on the afternoon. The Raiders ended their three game home stand with a gritty 3-1 loss to an extremely adept Crimson squad.

The women’s soccer team will be back at it next weekend when they make the trip to Colorado Springs to play against the Air Force and Colorado College. Col-gate will kick off the weekend against a tough Air Force team at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Contact Alan Pleat at [email protected]