The College’s eighth ranked women’s soccer team carried over last season’s success to the new 2003 campaign by going 3-0 in their first three contests of the season.
The Lions finished off their winning week with a narrow 1-0 victory over Johns Hopkins University (2-1). The game remained scoreless until junior midfielder, Linda O’Leary, landed the first goal of the game at 56:10, by taking advantage of a rebounded shot by junior midfielder, Lynda Schuster.
The victory extends the women’s soccer team unbeaten regular-season win streak to 42 games.
In only the fourth start of her young career, sophomore goalkeeper, Alissa Kacar, stopped three of the Blue Jay’s four attempts to guarantee the shutout. Kacar shared time with last year’s starting goalie, Jackie Kemp. Head coach Joe Russo expressed that he has the utmost confidence in the new keeper.
“She is more than capable of filling the position,” he said. “She had a great weekend, along with the rest of the team.”
Having no seniors on the team also does not seem to be phasing the young Lions. Junior midfielder, Katie Egan, said, “the leadership comes from our four captains and all of our juniors. We have a very large junior class that steps up and fills the role of seniors.”
The 2003 captains are juniors, Elizabeth Tomlin, Lauren DiStefano, Jamie Acheson and Amy Swiatecki-McCabe.
Lions 1, Falcons 0
Earlier in the week, the Lion’s managed a 1-0 victory over Mary Washington College in double overtime. It was their second game at the Blue Jay Classic hosted by Elizabethtown College. Forty-three seconds into the second overtime period, Egan connected on a pass from freshman forward, Lauren Grochala, inside the penalty box to secure the narrow victory.
“The depth of our bench and the fitness exercises we do at the end of each practice definitely helped us to keep going strong towards the end of the game,” Egan said.
Goalies Kacar and junior Mary Elizabeth Fulco played an integral part in this close game. Kacar played the entire game and saved two of MWC’s five shots. Fulco also played the entire game and had 10 saves for Mary Washington.
Lions 2, Bombers 1
Although the score may not show it, the Lion’s outshot the Falcon’s 24-3 and also managed an 8-1 advantage on corner kicks.
In the Lion’s season opener at the Blue Jay Classic they secured a 2-1 victory over Ithaca College.
DiStefano put the Lions ahead 1-0, three minutes into the game with a converted penalty kick. Swiatecki-McCabe extended that lead to 2-0 when she connected on a direct kick from junior defender, Erin Pivovarnick, at 57:10.
Two would prove to be enough as senior defender, Tara Repsher scored the Bomber’s only goal at 80:40, making the final score 2-1.
Although happy with the Lion’s performance thus far Russo said, “we have a tough stretch ahead of us. Our first six games are against NCAA tournament teams.”
Mary Washington College, Johns Hopkins University, Stevens Institute of Technology, SUNY Oneonta and Keene State, all made an appearance in the 2002 NCAA tournament. Three of the five made it as far as the regional tournament, where the 2002 Lions ended their season.
The Lion’s will face Stevens Institute of Technology in their first home game on Wednesday at 7:30 pm. The Lions play SUNY Oneonta in Oneonta, New York on Sept. 13, noon.