The Elizabethtown College women’s soccer team’s 0-3 start to the season is a thing of the past. After an offensive clinic put on by the Blue Jays in their home opener against Immaculata University, an 8-0 victory, they hosted Franklin and Marshall College last Tuesday evening. A goal scored in the 26th minute by sophomore Lauren Berry put Etown up 1-0 early in the game. A second half goal by sophomore Lauren Fredericks sealed the Blue Jay victory as they beat the Diplomats 2-0. Berry is on an incredible tear as of late, scoring five of her six goals this season in the last three games. The Temple University transfer has quickly adapted to her new home and has a major role with the Blue Jays.
“My transition to Etown was in fact a very easy one. The girls were so welcoming, I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls,” Berry said. “Coach Petronis really helped me through the transition and made everything very easy.”
Berry has noticed some key differences between the division I and division III level of collegiate soccer.
“The referees don’t allow the players to play as much as they do in division I soccer. A lot more fouls are called that are unnecessary,” Berry said. “Also, at least with my personal experience, the girls are much less cocky and this allows for a much better relationship between the entire team.”
Berry’s goal was assisted by first-year Callie McClanahan, her first of the season. McClanahan has also proved to be a big part of the offense over the last two games, registering two goals and an assist.
“I think that I’m surrounded with more affluent players like Lauren Berry and Trisha Clark, and I think we all are beginning to mesh well together as a team,” McClanahan said. “I think my soccer background has helped me adjust more quickly.”
The go-ahead goal was scored after a nice cross through the box by McClanahan who found Berry with some space before she buried it in the back of the net. It was the first goal allowed by Franklin and Marshall goalkeeper Amanda McGowan in four games this season, ending her impressive shutout streak at 356 minutes.
Etown sophomore goalie, Dana Robidoux, got the starting nod and did not disappoint. Robidoux played all 90 minutes, earning her first win and first shutout of the season, making five saves. She had some help from her fellow defenders who made stellar plays to keep the game in the Blue Jays’ favor.
Junior Kendra Mancino and first-year Sydney Nester both made huge defensive plays in front of the goal to stop F&M’s shots late in the first half to preserve the 1-0 lead into halftime. With nine goals in the last 135 minutes, Etown came out of the second half looking to add to it, twice hitting the post on back to back shots in the 63rd minute. However, less than a minute later, Fredericks found the back of the net with an unassisted goal, her third of the season.
Etown then traveled to St. Davids, Pa. on Saturday to take on Eastern University in their final non-conference road game of the season. The Blue Jays continued to stress the importance of offense during this streak, firing 24 shots —16 on goal. The most important of those shots came in the 83rd minute off the foot of Fredericks, putting Etown up 2-1 late in the contest. The Blue Jays would hang on for the final moments of the game to secure the win, their third in a row. Fredericks’ fourth goal of the season is already two more than she had all of last season.
McClanahan continued her torrid offensive streak, adding another goal to her total when she scored late in the first half off a corner kick from sophomore Trisha Clark which was headed down to McClanahan by Mancino. The goal put Etown up 1-0 into halftime. Robidoux got her second straight start in goal for the Blue Jays, making two saves. The only blemish on her otherwise perfect record through the last two games was an Eastern goal in the 73rd minute, tying the score at one. Ten minutes later, sophomore Kaceyanne Cerankowski’s through ball to Frederick put the Jays up for good. During the three game winning streak, the Blue Jays have outscored opponents 12-1.
“Our coach J.P. has really been pushing us during practice and he continues to stress both offense and defense,” McClanahan said.
In a late game last night, the Blue Jays added to their winning streak with a 4-0 victory over Moravian College last night. In the game, Robidoux made three saves, while three different Blue Jays found of the net.
The girls will look to continue their winning streak when they play Haverford College on Saturday, Sept. 21 before concluding their non-conference schedule the following Wednesday against Misericordia University.