No rust in Lions’ gears, soccer team dominates tournament

Annie McCarthy chases the ball. (Abby Hocking / Photo Assistant)
Annie McCarthy chases the ball. (Abby Hocking / Photo Assistant)

The women’s soccer team began the season eyeing a return to the top. After their three wins this weekend, they’re a little closer to achieveing that goal.

“I believe we’re off to a good start,” senior goalkeeper Jessica Clarke said. “We still have to work out and practice to work stuff out. But right now, things look good.”

The Lions dominated the Dallas, PA-based round robin tournament. They pounded their opening round opponent, Lycoming College 8-1 before finishing off host Misericordia University in a 5-0 shutout.

In the contest against Lycoming, the College poured it on in the first half, scoring seven goals to nail down the win early.

Six different Lions tallied goals in the opening half, led by junior midfielder Casey Caruso, who recorded the first two goals for her team.

“It’s great to see everyone get an opportunity,” Clarke said, who split time in the net along with sophomore Samantha Iamurri. “It shows how much depth we have this season.”

Freshman midfielder Toni DeMaio races to the ball. (Abby Hocking / Photo Assistant)
Freshman midfielder Toni DeMaio races to the ball. (Abby Hocking / Photo Assistant)

Senior defender Jillian Casey and sophomore defender Nikki Migliori each tallied a goal. Freshmen forwards Katie Landrigan and Joanna Pisani, freshman midfielder Amy Van Dyk and freshman forward Allyson Anderson each netted a goal as well. For all three of these rookies, this was the first goal of their respective College careers.

“We have 17 new players this year, so it’s great to have these girls step up and see action and get results. I’m proud, but we’re still not satisfied,” said Clark.

The final match in the tournament was much more competitive in the first half, but with  four second-half goals, the Lions blanked the hosts 5-0.
Just 1:25 into the game, Anderson scored her second goal of the tournament to give the Lions an early lead.

With a 1-0 lead going into the second half, the team clicked their offense back into overdrive. Casey scored yet again, and junior forward Briann McDonough got in on the fun with her first goal of the season just 10 minutes later.

Capping off the afternoon was Van Dyk and freshman forward Brenna Rubino, who each scored a goal to round off the five-goal effort.

“We definitely had more opportunities to score in the first, and we should have capitalized,” Clarke said. “We needed to accomplish more in the second (half), and we made sure we knocked the ball and took advantage.”

It only took Clarke two saves to complete her second shutout of the year and 33rd of her career. She is now third on the College’s all-time list.

Her first shutout of the year came when the Lions took their opener at home over the Violets of New York University 2-0.

Clarke only needed a pair of saves in this one as well to earn her first shutout.

“I’m just really grateful to have the team in front of me and a top-notch defense,” Clarke said. “It’s a team effort, and me only needing two saves shows how the ‘D’ is working.”

With the NYU game scoreless at halftime, the Lions needed some help on the offensive side of the ball. After netting a score 50 seconds into the second on a header, sophomore defender Annie McCarthy scored another to clinch the victory for her team.

The team’s next challenge will be in the Oneonta State Mayor’s Cup, as the Lions will play the hosting Red Dragons  as well as Hartwick College. The first of those games will be on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.