Saturday’s Landmark Conference game against Drew University at Ira R. Herr Field felt like a chance to start over for the Elizabethtown College women’s soccer team. Coming off their fourth straight loss and sixth overall in seven games this season, the Blue Jays were looking forward to conference play.
It had been over 360 minutes of action since Etown had scored its last goal, but it only took three minutes of Saturday’s game to change that.
In the third minute, first-year Lydia Lawson took a pass from fellow first-year Natalie Nye and headed the ball into the back of the net to help the Blue Jays out to an early 1-0 lead.
It would be the only goal of the game as Etown hung on for the next 87 minutes to earn the Landmark victory.
Lawson has been the lone offensive weapon for the Blue Jays this season, scoring six of Etown’s eight goals through the team’s first eight games. Nye’s cross into the box that led to Lawson’s goal gave her two assists on the year.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Blue Jays clamped down on the Rangers’ attack, allowing just three total shots through the first 45 minutes.
Junior goalkeeper Hailey Parks was forced to make only one save in the shutout victory for the Blue Jays.
Last night, Etown played one of their last two non-conference games on the schedule when they hosted York (Pennsylvania) College.
The Blue Jays were looking to create a winning streak after recently snapping a long losing skid.
On Wednesday night, Etown needed just one goal to continue their winning ways over the Spartans.
While much of the game was spent fighting for position, a key play in the 35th minute was the deciding factor in last night’s victory for the Blue Jays.
Sophomore Katrina Morales attempted to settle a deflected ball that popped up into the air but was impeded from behind by a York defender. The referee made the foul call, which took place inside the box, giving Etown a penalty kick opportunity.
Morales stepped up and delivered a shot into the right corner of the net to beat York goalkeeper Brittany Cullison for her first goal of the season.
The Blue Jays took the 1-0 lead into the break having just one shot on goal through the first 45 minutes.
In the second half, Etown stepped up the pressure and forced Cullison to make saves to keep the game close. In all, the Blue Jays would end the night outshooting the Spartans 11 to six.The hosts would also earn 10 corners to York’s two for the game.
Parks played a strong game in goal for the Blue Jays, making two early saves to keep the game knotted at zero in the first 10 minutes of action.
She was called upon again late in the game to make another key save to keep the lead intact. York crossed a ball into the box, and it found York’s Natalie McCarthy who sent a one-touch shot toward the goal. Parks’ quick reaction allowed her to dive to her left and knock the ball out of harms way.
Parks would finish the night with five saves and earned her third shutout of the season.
The win gave the Blue Jays two straight victories in an important part of their schedule. With the win over Drew on Saturday, the Blue Jays opened conference play with a 1-0 record.
They will try and make it two straight to start Landmark play when they travel to the University of Scranton on Saturday, Oct. 1.