By Michael Battista Sports Editor
Kicking off their season, the College’s women’s soccer team played to a 0-0 tie in their first game against Gettysburg College, but followed with a 2-0 victory against Widener University — showing both new and returning talent in the process.
The season opener on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Lions’ Stadium against the Gettysburg College Bullets was dead even from the very start. Gettysburg controlled the ball most of the first half as the Lion’s defense pushed them back at almost every opportunity. The Bullets got off four shots on goal, doubling the shots that the College could amount in the 45-minute span.
However, each team could match each other. When Gettysburg had the ball in the Lion’s zone for an extended period of time, the College would immediately do the same to them keeping the pace even.
Coach Joe Russo, coming into his 25th year as the team’s head coach, attributes this to each team’s mentality.
“Both teams are good,” he said. “They’re well-organized and stingy when they play.”
While the Bullets were the better team in the first half, the last 45 minutes belonged to the Lions.
Gettysburg was unable to get a single shot on goal for the rest of the game, while the College was able to release seven in the second half alone. Players like sophomores Jessica Goldman and Abigail Emmert and junior Christine Levering kept the Bullet’s defense on their toes.
While the Lions pushed, they could not get the deciding goal, and Gettysburg’s defense did its job well — they blocked as much as they could, pushing the game into not one, but double over time.
The two 10-minute halves went by quickly with the College taking shots in each but never connecting.
“As the game went on, we got better and better,” Russo said.
Goldman said in those hectic situations, you need to gain back control.
“When it gets to that hectic point, you need to calm the game down and try to get in back in your own control,” she said.
But when asked about the play at the end, Goldman was very straightforward.
“At that point, you’re just trying to put it in,” Goldman said.
The ball would not go in, however, and the score remained 0-0 for the final.
“We need to focus on the final,” she said. “We had chances. We’re trying to find our chemistry and work together still.”
The team had a few days to rest and practice with one another before traveling to their next game on Sunday, Sept. 6, against Widener University in Chester, Pa.
The game was heavily in favor of the College from early on. Within five minutes, Levering recorded a shot on goal and within 20 minutes, both her and Goldman had a combined total of five shots.
The Lions had a total of 12 shots in the first, compared to one by Widner. The team was unable to connect with a goal in the first half however. Within five minutes of the second half, senior Taylor Lusardi scored the team’s first goal of the season with a header off a corner kick. After that, the Lions stayed in control, once again keeping Widener to only one shot, and sealed the deal with a goal from junior Sarah Marion in the 86th minute.
The Lions won the game 2-0, with a total of 23 shots on goal.
Now, the team has a few days to prepare for the TCNJ Adidas Classic, which will bring in tough opponents such as SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 1:30 p.m. and John Hopkins University on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 1:30 p.m.