Then the women’s soccer team is down, do not count them out. After falling at home to Haverford College in overtime in the Blue Jays’ last game, they welcomed nationally-ranked Misericordia University last Wednesday. The game on Sept. 25 brought the country’s seventh-ranked team, undefeated coming into the game, to Ira R. Herr Field. The Cougars boast one of the nation’s best offenses, including senior midfielder Alyssa Mocion —recently named the Freedom Conference’s Player of the Week.
“The game plan for Misericordia was to mostly defend. Misericordia’s best player was a forward, so we man marked her,” junior Kendra Mancino said. “This completely shut them down and they had no idea what to do.”
Etown’s defensive effort was superb, anchored by sophomore goalie Dana Robidoux’ nine saves for her fourth win of the year—three by shutout. Alongside Robidoux, the Blue Jays’ defense withstood late pushes by Misericordia to hang on for the 1-0 victory.
“The win was awesome; one of the best wins in my soccer career. The last 20 minutes went by so slowly, but I couldn’t have been happier with how the team played,” Mancino said.
In the 64th minute, sophomore Deanna Slater found fellow sophomore Kaceyanne Cerankowski streaking up the left side of the field. Cerankowski fired a shot in the upper right corner, which passed Misericordia goalie Maureen Ciccosanti, for her second goal of the year.
“It felt awesome to score the game winning goal against the No.7 team in the nation,” Cerankowski said. “We didn’t expect to have too many opportunities to score, so it was really important that we did when we got a chance.”
Etown managed just four shots on goal for the entire game, but made the most of their opportunity 20 minutes into the second half. Slater’s assist was her second of the season. The win improved the Blue Jays’ record to 5-4 on the season and wrapped up their non-conference schedule.
The major storyline of Etown’s first half success is how the team has played defensively. “Since the start of the season, we have lost seven defensive players to injury. We keep playing different formations, which allow us to easily defend our opponents,” Mancino said. “I try to control the defense since we have so many new players playing the positions. Right now,
I have two forwards and a center-mid playing defense with me, so it is imperative that I keep communicating with them so they know what to do.”
Those players Mancino mentioned are sophomore Lauren Fredericks and first-years Elyse Koter was and Caroline Novak. Along with Mancino, the three of them played a vital role in slowing down Misericordia’s high-powered offensive attack. They made it hard for Misericordia’s Mocion to get comfortable offensively, giving her only one good shot on goal all evening. That shot hit the left post of the goal in the 85th minute, rolled parallel to the goal line and was cleared away by the Blue Jay’s defense.
“The team’s defense this year has been very adaptable,” Cerankowski said. “I thought we struggled a little bit in the beginning of the season to get things organized, but once the back line clicked, it’s been great.”
“I’m expecting to start the rest of the season off with the attitude that we are capable of beating the best teams out there and hoping that we come out on top of our conference,” Cerankowski said.
The Blue Jays will put that attitude to the test on Saturday, Oct. 5 in their conference opener against Albright College, who is 4-3-1 for the season. The game against the lions is set for 4:30 p.m. at Ira R. Herr Field. Etown currently has an overall record of 5-4.