Women’s Soccer Continues Their Strong Start

By: Jack Ridenour

The Women’s soccer team has been on a roll recently, winning three of their last four games. The team has been outscoring their opponents at a high level, combining for nine goals in their three recent wins. Their defense has also been strong, as they have given up only three goals in four games. With league play right around the corner, the Cougars find themselves atop the standings in their conference.
On September 17th, the Cougars traveled to take on the Nittany Lions of Penn State Altoona. The contest started off slow, as the teams entered halftime with a 0-0 tie. In the Second half, the Cougars took control of the game entirely. They would score two quick goals, as senior Megan Sieg and sophomore Victoria Vernail would each score a goal within minutes of each other. The Lions would eventually answer with a goal of their own in the 63rd minute of the game. The Cougars responded back with two more goals, one from freshman Darby Robinson and another one from junior Julie Bruening. The Cougars would finish the game outshooting the Lions 25-2
The Cougars would next travel to New York to take on the Medaille College Mavericks. The Cougars would start the game off hot, as they would score two goals in the first ten minutes of play. The first one came from Megan Sieg and the second one was scored by Sophomore Tina Lett. Darby Robinson would go on to add two goals of her own, and junior Anne Radzanowski would cap off the 5-0 shut out with a goal of her own. With strong defensively play, the Cougars would get their third shutout of the year.
 The last two games were two home match ups against Franciscan University and Salem College. Sophomore Emily Nolan would score the first goal of the game against Franciscan. In the second half, Freshman Kelly Gay would tack on two more goals, as the Cougars would go on to win 3-0. Against Salem, the team struggled to find the back of the net. Salem College scored one goal right before the half, and then again in the 72nd minute of the game. The Cougars only had eight shots for the whole game, as they were shut out for the first time this season.
The teams defense has been a big part of their success so far this season. “Our communication with each other and physicality against other teams has given us the ability to play well against other teams.” said junior Katie Sieg. Not only has their defense been playing well, but the new first-year class has been a nice addition for the team. “The first years are really good athletes and soccer players.” said Sieg. “They bring a competitive attitude to the team.”
With their out-of-conference schedule concluded, the team will now go head to head with their in conference rivals. “I think a big factor this year will be no longer being underdogs,” said Junior Kay Fiske. “People see us as an effective team, we were voted fourth in the PAC, we have to step on the field and play like we deserve to stay at the top.” As the season goes on, the team will be challenged with a tough in-conference schedule. The defense and the chemistry of the team will be big factors in how the team fares throughout the rest of the year.