After going winless through their first three games of the season, scoring just one goal in those contests, the Elizabethtown College women’s soccer team has found its groove. After back-to-back victories over Franklin & Marshall and St. Mary’s (Md.) in which the Blue Jays combined for six goals, Etown carried the momentum into Friday’s matchup at Penn State Harrisburg.
Senior Lauren Fredericks would strike early in the first half giving Etown a one-goal lead that would soon explode into a much larger deficit for the Lions. Seniors Kaceyanne Cerankowski and Lauren Berry linked up for Berry’s third goal of the season in the 20th minute giving the visitors a 2-0 lead that would be doubled by halftime.
After senior Trisha Clark scored on an assist from junior Maddie Burkhardt, junior Morgan Chambers netted her first goal of the season in the 44th minute to mark a four-goal first half by the Blue Jays.
With Etown holding a large lead coming out of the break, the Blue and Gray were able to empty the bench and saw three players score their first career goals. First, sophomore Chelsea Dantona found the back of the net in the 53rd minute. In the 68th minute, first-year Sophia Long scored off an assist from fellow first-year Nicole Krebs. The Blue Jays final exclamation in the rout of PSU-Harrisburg came from first-year Shannon Conlon in the 70th minute.
The Lions would end the shutout in the 79th minute but the Blue Jays would bring home a 7-1 victory, putting Etown above .500 for the first time this season.
On Sunday, the Blue Jays welcomed a tough Washington & Lee University squad to Ira R. Herr Field for a non-conference tilt. The Generals were coming off of a rout of their own on Friday when they defeated Randolph University, 9-0.
Less than a minute into the contest, Berry crossed the ball into the box and onto Cerankowski’s foot, who found the back of the net to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead after 52 seconds of action. The one-goal lead was intact until the 69th minute when Washington & Lee earned a penalty shot after a tackle in the box.
The Generals controlled possession for most of the game and put six shots on frame compared to Etown’s two. Washington & Lee’s Hollis Tardy took the penalty shot which forced Etown goalkeeper Dana Robidoux to dive to her left to make a huge save, however, the ball rebounded right back to Tardy who placed it in the wide open net to tie the game at one.
“I don’t necessarily think Washington & Lee did much to shut us down offensively,” Cerankowski said. “I think it was more of us just not being able to find feet and possess the ball as a team. We are at our best when we connect passes and quickly switch the field but unfortunately we struggled to do those things.”
The score remained deadlocked at one at the end of regulation and for a majority of the first overtime until Washington & Lee had another rebound shot fall their way. The Generals’ Caroline Peters had her header initially saved by Robidoux, but the rebound was not secured, allowing Peters to score the game winner with less than three minutes to go in overtime.
After Sunday’s game, Cerankowski talked about the Blue Jays’ next opponent and how the team would put the loss behind them.
“The only way to bounce back after a tough loss like this is put it behind us and work hard at practice on Tuesday,” Cerankowski said. “Misericordia is a great team, so we really need to go out and give it everything we have Wednesday night in order to do well in that game.”
Etown has now played three games that have gone to at least one overtime this season. The Blue Jays are 1-1-1 in those three games, beating St. Mary’s (Md.) in double overtime, tying with Union (NY.) after two scoreless overtime sessions in the season opener, and dropping Sunday’s contest in the first overtime to Washington & Lee. Only time will tell if these overtime experiences will benefit the team down the road.
“I think that the emotions felt in overtime will help us later in the season. We will remember how great it felt to beat St. Mary’s College in overtime and how terrible it felt to lose to Washington & Lee,” Cerankowski said. “Playing in longer games makes us all want to work harder during regulation time so we don’t have to go to overtime.”
The Blue Jays had little time to think about the heartbreaking loss as they faced nationally-ranked Misericordia University last night in a non-conference game.
The Blue Jays will host Landmark Conference opponent Catholic University on Saturday in the team’s first conference game of the season. Kickoff is set for 1p.m.