Women’s soccer falls again

Brian Lukacsy October 1, 2014 0

After a streak of 451 minutes without allowing a goal, the longest streak of any division three team this season, the Elizabethtown College women’s soccer team let a goal in against Misericordia University and it did not take long. Officially marked at one minute and 22 seconds into the game, Cougars scored off a cross into the box to give them a 1-0 lead over the Blue Jays.
Etown began the game as one of three teams across all three divisions of the NCAA to not allow a goal. Stanford University (Division I) and Adelphi University (Division III) were the others. The goal was the first to get by junior goalkeeper Dana Robidoux, who has 15 saves on the season after her eight-save performance against Misericordia.
The Cougars came into the Sept. 24 match-up as the ninth-ranked team in the country. However, the Blue Jays were the team without a loss.
Although Misericordia outshot the Blue Jays 10 to three in the first half, Etown allowed just the one early goal to keep it 1-0 at the half. Junior Lauren Berry had two opportunities with under five minutes to go in the first half to tie it, but the Cougar’s goalie Maureen Ciccosanti saved both shots. Berry’s two shots on goal toward the end of the half were half of the Blue Jay’s shots on goal for the entire game. Ciccosanti saved all four shots.
Misericordia tacked on two more goals in the second half, including one in the final 10 minutes to put the game out of reach. The Blue Jays fell for the first time this season, 3-0 against one of the top-10 teams in the country.
The Blue Jays did not have to wait long to rid their minds of that game, as they were back on the pitch for Saturday’s game against Catholic University. The game in Washington D.C. was the first-ever Landmark Conference game for the women’s soccer program.
Down in Washington D.C., the Blue Jays had plenty of scoring opportunities but failed to capitalize on them. A Catholic goal in the seventh minute of the game would stand to be the game-winner as Etown dropped their second straight game of the season.
“At this point, we’re thinking of these past two losses as a turning point in the season,” junior Trisha Clark said. “While we did start out the season well and on a positive note, those wins aren’t going to get us to the postseason. The real season is starting now with conference play, so now we’re more focused on taking care of business one game at a time. We’re taking the losses as lessons learned and moving on from here.”
Robidoux finished the day with seven saves, and the Blue Jays outshot Catholic 17-15 for the game. Unfortunately, none of their 10 shots on goal found the back of the net. Junior Kaceyanne Cerankowski led Etown with five total shots, three of which were on goal.
The team faced a very familiar foe last night in what was arguably their biggest regular-season non-conference game. Last year’s Commonwealth Conference Champion, Messiah College, came in ranked second in the country and had home field advantage against the Blue Jays. Messiah hadn’t lost any of their nine games this season and are coming off a 6-1 victory over Etown last season at Ira R. Herr Field.
Prior to the game Clark said, “We’re always very excited to play Messiah. It’s such an opportunity because it’s not every day you get the chance to play such a high caliber team. It will definitely test us, but we’re always ready to give them a game.”
The two teams were playing a very physical and fast-paced first half. Messiah broke through to score the first goal in the 14th minute. The Falcons tacked on a second goal to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Messiah clamped down and double-teamed the Blue Jay’s forwards, not allowing the offense any room to work. At the half, the Falcons held a nine to two shot advantage and 50 percent of the team’s shots on goal found the back of the net.
After an early second half goal gave Messiah a 3-0 lead, Etown began to have a few offensive opportunities.
At 4-0 in the 79th minute, the Blue Jays finally broke through and scored. Senior Kendra Mancino scored her first goal of the season off an assist from sophomore Sydney Nester. Mancino’s goal in likely her last game against Messiah was only the second goal allowed by the Falcons all season. Messiah’s .2 goals against through 10 games leads the nation. That title was once held by the Blue Jays two weeks ago.
Robidoux played all 90 minutes and recorded three saves on the evening. Messiah’s All-American player, Nikki Elsaesser, scored twice last night to bring her season total of goals to 11. That places her in the top 20 in the country in scoring.
The Blue Jays have now dropped three straight games since starting the season 5-0. The team has scored just one goal in the last three games after scoring 22 through their first five games.
The women will be back in action on Saturday when they host Goucher College in their first-ever home conference game. The start time is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Ira R. Herr Field.

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