Coming off a one-goal draw in double overtime with rival Franklin & Marshall College last Wednesday, the Elizabethtown College women’s soccer team put their unbeaten streak on the line against the Eastern University Eagles.
Through the last two games, the Blue Jays have averaged almost 30 shots per game, and they did not let up in their game on Saturday as they racked up 23 more shots with 10 of them testing Eastern’s senior goalkeeper Alysia Goodman.
Throughout the first half of the game, the Blue Jays were able to cross the ball into the box, however, they were unable to capitalize.
In the 15th minute, the Jays came close on a corner but sophomore Kendra Mancino could not get a foot to put it through.
A few minutes later, first-year forward Samantha Small fired a shot from outside the box, but Goodman got a hand on the ball for the fantastic save.
The clearest opportunity for the Blue Jays was right before the half when first-year Deanna Slater received a through ball but the Eastern defense was too much for the forward.
With seconds to go in the first half, Eastern received a free kick right outside the box, and it was Goodman who rifled it past Blue Jay senior goalkeeper Jess Manchak to put up the Eagles one goal to zero at the half.
In the second half, the Jays came out with the intention of scoring early. First-year Kaceyanne Cerankowski had a great opportunity right away, but once again, Goodman came off her line for the huge save to preserve the shutout.
That wouldn’t last long, as in the 59th minute, first-year Trisha Clark received a pass from senior Laura Wingert, and shot it right past Goodman to tie the game at one goal apiece.
In the 68th minute, Cerankowski snuck past three defenders and crossed it in, but nobody was in the box to put it home.
Exactly like their previous meeting a year ago, both teams could not capitalize in 90 minutes, so the game went into overtime.
In overtime, first-year Eryn Henderson got a great through ball and went one-on-one with Goodman; however, Goodman came up big with another save for the Eagles. Eastern got a great opportunity from a corner as the ball bounced out of the box to Ashley Graybill but went just wide.
Mancino gets an opportunity from outside the box for the Jays but goes over Goodman’s head and out of play. First-year Lauren Fredericks also had a shot on goal, however it went just wide.
Junior Alyssa Koplin believes the team executed the game plan well. “We played really well and had control of most of the game through finding one another.” As the team moves into the conference, Koplin believes the team will improve after each game. “We are getting better every game and are learning new things about our team as we move forward. Each game is important in learning what we need to fine tune to get ready for the tough competition in our conference,” she said.
The Blue Jays look to stay unbeaten as they head into Thursday’s matchup on the road at Moravian College.
Head Coach Jason Petronis took a lot of positives from the game as the moves forward and closer to conference play. “I think we played well, we continued to improve and play well as a team. We just need to put the ball in the net,” he said. Petronis will not change his game plan against Moravian. “The team is looking good; we are getting more comfortable with our team,” he said.
With many younger players stepping up, Petronis has given them major roles early in their Blue Jay careers. “Trisha Clark is a special player and playing center mid. Samantha Small is also a big contributor to our lineup out wide. Kaceyanne [Cerankowski] is also another player who is playing significant minutes,” he said.