Schuster named MVP; Lions split two-day cup

The seventh ranked college women’s soccer team bounced back from their loss against SUNY Oneonta State University to defeat 11th ranked Keene State University Owls 3-0 at the Oneonta State Red Dragon Cup Tournament this weekend.

Both the Owls (3-2) and the Lions (5-1) went 1-1 on the weekend. The Red Dragons were the winner of the Cup, defeating both the Lions and the Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays.

The College began scoring early when junior defender Erin Pivovarnick took advantage of an assist from junior midfielder Lynda Schuster 15 minutes into the game.

Schuster was named the offensive MVP of the tournament after tallying a goal and an assist in two games. She is currently tied for third on the all-time assist list with 21. Jacqueline Dirr (1992-1995) and Kim Faust ended their careers at the College with 21 assists.

The Lions second goal came when freshman midfielder Lisa Kokotajilo kicked the ball right at fellow freshman forward, Christine Mullin, who headed the ball into the goal at 38:11. Momentum was on the side of the Lions the entire game as they outshot the Owls 23-3.

Junior midfielder Katie Egan felt that this has been a pattern for the Lions so far this season.

“We’ve been dominating games, we’ve just had trouble finishing them,” Egan said.

Junior goalkeeper, Michelle Mason, was forced to make 11 saves for Keene in order to keep the game close. Lions sophomore goalie, Alissa Kacar, made two saves to pick up her third shutout of the season.

Co-captain and junior midfielder, Lauren DiStefano, gave the Lions their final goal when she cashed in on a failed clearing attempt by the Keene defense and rocketed the ball past Mason at 70:16.

Red Dragons 2, Lions 1

In the first game of the Cup, the Lions suffered their first defeat of the season and snapped their consecutive regular-season win streak with a 2-1 loss against eighth ranked SUNY Oneonta.

The streak was halted at 43 games.

“This was a huge game for us. They’re the best team in New York,” Egan said.

Oneonta (4-0) held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the game after senior midfielder Kacar nailed a shot from 10-yards-out, 10 minutes into the game.

The Red Dragon’s sophomore goalie, Laura Morcone, held the tight lead until Schuster, rifled a 30-yard kick over her head at 62:42. This was the first goal scored against Morcone in the 2003 season.

The game only remained tied for another 16 minutes. Oneonta’s senior midfielder, Kelly Stevens slammed the winning goal past the College’s sophomore goalie Kacar at 78:18.

Kacar finished the game with three saves, while undefeated Morcone ended the game with four.

Lions 6, Ducks 0

Earlier in the week, the Lions snapped their offensive slump by trouncing the Ducks of Stevens Institute of Technology 6-0. The six goals scored by the Lions nearly tripled the offensive output of their previous three games combined.

“It was definitely good to score some goals,” Head coach Joe Russo said. “We’ve been getting those opportunities, we just finally put some in the back of the net.”

The offensive attack began 3:34 into the game as Pivovarnick, netted a corner kick assisted by Schuster.

Junior midfielder and co-captain, Amy Swiatecki-McCabe continued the Lions first-half burst by heading in a cross from junior forward, Stephanie Peters.

Finishing off the action of the first 45 minutes was freshman forward, Christine Mullin, who sprinted ahead to take advantage of the wide-open goal.

It was the first goal of her collegiate career. Egan dominated the second half for the Lions scoring two goals in four minutes. Her first came at 52:12 as Schuster slowed down to avoid the scrambling Stevens defenders and managed a wide-open assist to Egan.

Egan then stretched the Lions lead over the Ducks to 5-0 with her second goal at 56:09. Schuster then gave the Lions their final score of 6-0 by netting a shot from 18 yards out into the lower right corner at 30:33.

In goal, Kacar shut out the Ducks with two saves in 82 minutes of play. Freshman goalkeeper Megan Roe, came in to relieve Kacar in the second half and allowed no goals in the last seven minutes of play.

Stevens’ senior keeper Rommy Guevara had four saves, but allowed five goals in the first 56:45 of the game. Freshman forward Erica Midttveit, replaced Guevara for the last 33:15 of the game, and had four saves and allowed just one goal. The loss dropped Stevens to 2-3 on the season.

Upcoming Game

The Lions will be away at William Paterson University today at 1:00 p.m. for their first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game of the year.