The Slippery Rock women’s soccer team bounced back from a loss to Kutztown University on Saturday with a convincing 2-0 shutout win on Wednesday afternoon against conference rival Indiana University of Pa.
After suffering their first loss of the season last Saturday at Kutztown, the Green and White scored two second half goals to advance to 4-1-0 on the season and 2-1-0 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play. Indiana falls to 3-3-2 overall and 0-3-1 in league games.
Coach Noreen Herlihy had confidence in the team’s victory on Wednesday.
“We are very pleased with the win,” Herlihy said.” We refocused in after the loss on the road. We had a job at hand and no game is easy in our conference. We know playing IUP is not an easy game so we are very pleased with the result.”
Wednesday’s game was close throughout the first 45 minutes, without a team gathering any great shot opportunities. Slippery Rock had an 8-6 advantage in total shots in the first half, but the Rock managed the one and only shot on target.
Junior midfielder Stephanie Buckenheimer said that the Rock had a slow start to the game.
“I think the field was playing a little slow so it took some time to make the adjustment and get the ball moving like we wanted it to,” Buckenheimer said.
The game took an overwhelming turn in the second half when Slippery Rock scored two goals three minutes apart, early on in the half.
Junior forward Kara Mullins scored the first goal in the 50th minute after she grabbed her own rebound and buried it past Crimson Hawks goalie Mara Kricik.
Three minutes later, senior midfielder Shelby Ward notched a goal of her own off of Mullins assist to make the game 2-0.
Indiana appeared to fall apart after the Rock’s quick goals.
Slippery Rock finished the game with a 14-11 total shot advantage and 3-2 shots on goal. Both squads earned three corner kicks.
Mullins was impressive in her performance tonight after coming back from being injured. She provided a much-needed spark to the Rock in Wednesday’s performance.
“She wasn’t sure that she was going to be able to play this year,” Herlihy said. “She has experience up front and has great character in the dressing room. She’s a great winner and a pure competitor.”
Junior Dana O’Neill recorded her fourth shutout of the season in goal for the Green and White with two saves.
“From Dana up we have a solid defense,” Buckenheimer said. “It gives our attacking players the extra confidence to go forward and know they have a solid defense behind them.”
Slippery Rock fell to Kutztown 3-1 last Saturday in their first loss of the season. Ranked fifth in the Division II national poll last week, the Rock needed a solid performance.
“Today’s game was an important one,” O’Neill said. “We bounced back well by winning especially with a shutout. This game was the beginning of the rest of the season.”
Slippery Rock will face-off tomorrow at 1 pm against Clarion University in another PSAC matchup. Clarion is 1-3-2 on the season with a record of 1-3-0 in the conference.