To say that things are coming easily for the College’s women’s soccer team would be an understatement.
At the Esprit Division III tournament this weekend, the Lions rolled off two more shutout victories, a 3-0 win over Greensboro College on Saturday and a 9-0 mauling of Meredith College Sunday afternoon.
The Lions are now 4-0 and have outscored their opponents 19-0 on the season.
Not only are they keeping their teams scoreless with their four straight shutout victories, the Lions are not even allowing the opposition to rally near the net. In 240 minutes of keeping opponents’ scoreless, the Lions’ goal keepers, led by senior Alissa Kacar, have had to deny a mere eight saves.
It’s no wonder the Lions earned a No. 7 ranking in Division III in the latest poll by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Yet, head coach Joe Russo was quick to dispel the significance of such rankings. “Rankings in September don’t mean a whole lot,” he said. “I didn’t even notice.”
The days of the Lions cruising to victories in this fashion may be short lived, though, as New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play begins this week. Although the Lions were tabbed as the preseason conference favorites, NJAC competition level towers over that of early season non-conference play.
“We have a new system and a new style and these (early non-conference games) give a chance to tweak it,” Russo said. “We’re still trying to get better every day. It’s been a good weekend for us but we know we still have a lot of soccer in front of us, and a lot of important soccer in front of us.”
Junior forward Dana DiBruno and senior forward Brittny Boyd, quickly becoming the Lions’ most trusted scoring duo, led the College against Greensboro.
DiBruno scored just 36 seconds into the game and Boyd netted her fourth goal of the season early in the second half.
“They’re both very good players and both had very good weekends,” Russo said. “I don’t think we’re predictable in where our scoring comes from, though. Both of them were fortunate to be on the back end of some very good balls.”
Junior midfielder Lisa Kokotajlo added an insurance goal with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
Kacar and freshman goalie Amy Hashem combined on three saves to keep Greensboro scoreless.
On Sunday, DiBruno led the Lions in their disposal of Meredith with a pair of goals and an assist, while sophomore midfielder Kristen Cubicciotti put in a goal and two assists.
Cubicciotti opened the scoring 1:22 into the game, and DiBruno scored twice within the 34 seconds.
Kacar turned away just one shot from Meredith on the game.
Freshmen defensemen Cara O’Neil and Jillian Casey, sophomore defensemen Country Krol and Toni-Anne Cavallo, freshman midfielder Coleen Weber, junior midfielder Caitlin Brennan and freshman forward Allie Schilling each tacked on a goal to run the score to 9-0.
The Lions have six days off to prepare for NJAC play before they will play five conference games in 13 days. That stretch will begin when the College travels to Montclair State University on Saturday for a 4 p.m. contest.