After falling to Arcadia College two days earlier, the Elizabethtown College women’s soccer team hosted No. 9 Messiah College last Thursday, Oct. 17. The game, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 12, was in Messiah’s control from the start.
The Falcons beat Etown sophomore goalkeeper Dana Robidoux twice in the first ten minutes of play to grab an early 2-0 lead. Messiah did not stop there, scoring twice more in the first half, with two goals in the 38th minute. Robidoux — who made nine saves — was pulled in the 17th minute in favor of first-year Caitlin Matus. Matus came out and played 20 minutes, making three saves and not allowing a goal.
Etown’s offense managed just two shots on goal, both off the foot of sophomore Kaceyanne Cerankowski, who found the back of the net in the 77th minute. Cerankowski’s goal snapped Messiah goalkeeper Adura Larson’s eight-game scoreless streak, and was her second goal against a ranked opponent this year. The goal was assisted by sophomore Deanna Slater and first-year Callie McClanahan. The 6-1 setback was Etown’s second consecutive conference loss and dropped their at the time conference record to 2-2.
“If we have the opportunity to play Messiah again, I know we will deny more of their chances. Having Kendra [Mancino] in the back will help greatly, and because we are such a young team, not all of the girls have been able to see what it’s like to play at that level,” sophomore Lauren Berry said. “Now that everybody has seen how hard we have to play, it could really make a difference in the outcome.”
Etown hosted Hood College on Saturday, Oct. 19 for the annual Homecoming Game at Ira R. Herr Field. The Blue Jays took control of the game, scoring early and often. Berry found the back of the net three times in the first half, tallying her second hat trick of the season. Her 11th, 12th and 13th goals of the season all were recorded in the first 25 minutes of the game.
“Coming into the season I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I knew I wanted to have an impact every time I stepped on the field,” Berry said. “I wasn’t sure how many goals to expect to come my way, but I am very pleased so far.”
One minute after Berry scored her last goal of the day, first-year Sydney Nester tallied her first goal of the season, putting the game out of reach for good. Cerankowski scored for the second game in a row, and joined Slater and McClanahan as the second half goal scorers for the Blue Jays.
Etown out shot Hood 28-4 and 16-2 in the shots on goal department. The Blue Jays scored seven goals on nine assists from Cerankowski (2), Nester, seniors Alex Topa and Alyssa Koplin (2), junior Kendra Mancino, and sophomores Trisha Clark and Kara Weller.
“I felt it was very important for our team to score those 7 goals today,” Berry said. “Although we had a set back our past two games, being able to take control of this game really gave us some confidence back.”
Robidoux started in goal for the Blue Jays and did not face a single shot, while playing the entire first half. Matus played the second half and made two saves in Etown’s 7-0 victory over the Blazers. The win moves the Blue Jays one game over .500 in the conference and improves their record to 8-6 this season. Etown is 8-3-2 in their Homecoming game since 2000.
The Blue Jays have four remaining conference games, two of which are at home. Etown will look to win out and lock up one of the top two seeds in the conference tournament.
“I think our team’s expectations with these upcoming games is to win. We really want to reach that 300 win this season,” Berry said. “As long as we go out on the field every game and leave our hearts out there, I have no doubt we will reach that goal.”
The 300 program victory that Berry mentioned will hopefully come against Lycoming College on Oct. 29, if the Blue Jays win their remaining games. They will travel to Annville, Pa. this Saturday to take on Lebanon Valley College for the final regular season meeting between the two conference rivals before Etown moves into the Landmark Conference next season.