The Elizabethtown College women’s soccer team went into their first conference game against Drew University Saturday, Sept. 23 in Madison, N.J. with excitement.
The team fought this hard battle by doubling the shots against Drew with 16, only four of them being on net. Going into the game, the Blue Jays worked on keeping the pressure on their opponent and keeping their defense solid throughout practice.
Keeping practice drills complex, making the players think and incorporating small touches were just a few things the team used in order to prepare for the Rangers. “We came into it knowing it was our first conference game, and we needed to get three points,” first-year Janelle Barna said. The Jays knew what they needed to do in order to stay successful throughout the game against the Rangers.
The game moved slowly until the 13th minute when Drew had their first shot and capitalized on it. The Blue Jays then had seven shots in the first half without testing Drew’s goalie, Madison Dudziec.
The pace continued to move slowly until halftime. Despite trailing by only one for over 60 minutes, the Blue Jays found energy with shots on target, just missing the goal in the 69th minute and again minutes later by sophomores Madison Burnham and Catherine Hughes. This led the Rangers to a handball in the box in the 74th minute, allowing sophomore Lydia Lawson to earn her fifth goal of the season off the penalty kick, tying the game with 16 minutes to go.
This is when Etown began to gain control of the game, holding Drew until Barna got the ball out wide, cut back, and crossed it over to first-year Alli Lasky who earned her first goal of the season in the 81st minute.
Barna beamed discussing the moment of the goal.”It was really significant because that was Alli’s first goal of her college career,” Barna said.
It was even better that it was the winning goal of the game, leaving Drew only 10 minutes to tie it back up. From the beginning, the team knew passing and connecting was going to be a high powered principal. “Finding feet today was definitely important,” sophomore Allison Plotts said. The Rangers eventually ran out of time, as the Blue Jay’s defense was solid when it counted the most to lock in the win at 2-1. Going into their next match, Etown is focusing on playing their game and maintaining good pace throughout the whole match.
Wednesday, Sept. 27, the women defeated York College 2-1 on the road. Lawson and junior Shannon Conlon led the team with one goal each. Lawson scored less than six minutes into the game, and the women did not let go of the lead for the rest of the game. Conlon scored her first goal of the season at the end of the half, putting the Jays up 2-0.
The Spartans scored with less than ten minutes left in the game, but it was not enough to overpower the Blue Jays. Etown won with a final score of 2-1
Intensity will remain important going into the women’s next game Saturday, Sept. 30 at home against the University of Scranton at 12 p.m.