Soccer earns another shutout

Published by adviser, Author: Nikolas Horniacek - Rocket Contributor, Date: September 28, 2012
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After a thrilling last second win on Saturday against Clarion University, the Slippery Rock women’s soccer team followed suit with a solid 1-0 shutout performance Monday against West Virginia Wesleyan.

The Rock advanced their record to 6-1-0 on the season and 3-1-0 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play. Clarion drops to 1-4-2 (1-4-0) on the season, while W. Va. Wesleyan drops to 4-3-2 overall.

The Rock was dominant in Monday’s performance, allowing West Virginia Wesleyan to tally just one total shot on goal throughout the match, with an advantage of 8-1 in total shots, 6-1 in shots on goal, and 1-0 in corner kicks.

Sophomore forward Lucy Hannon scored the game winner in the 43rd minute, her fourth of the season. Hannon and freshmen midfielder Caitlin Binder were electric on offense, posting three shots on goal each.

Junior Dana O’Neill got the win for the Rock, earning her fifth shutout of the season for the Green and White with one save.

Saturday’s performance for the Rock was a completely different scenario. Senior midfielder Shelby Ward scored with just 52 seconds remaining in the match to end Clarion’s comeback attempt in a 3-2 win.

It took until the 40th minute for the Rock to break the ice against Clarion. Freshman forward Caitlin Conner found the back of the net with her first collegiate goal off of Hannon’s assist.

Slippery Rock went into the half with a 1-0 lead which would increase to 2-0 in the 59th minute, when Hannon would tally another goal of her own.

Clarion made a comeback effort, scoring their first goal in the 66th minute and then tying the game in the 87th minute. It was Ward who stole the show, when just three minutes later, she beat two defenders down the field on a breakaway, putting the final seal on a close win.

“We knew Clarion’s first goal was a big game changer,” junior midfielder Stephanie Buckenheimer said.  “We gave them a chance to comeback in the game but we were able to stay together as a team and get the result we wanted.”
The Rock finished Saturday’s game with a 12-9 shot advantage. O’Neill got the win Saturday as well, recording two saves.

The defense played as a very cohesive unit on Monday, only allowing a total of one shot.

“Monday was another important game for our regional rankings,” O’Neill said, “For us to come out with a win was a positive. We let Clarion back into the game Saturday, so we took a step in the right direction on Monday with good play and another clear sheet.”
Head coach Noreen Herlihy is very pleased with the team’s performance as of late.

“We are playing well as a team and continue to stay strong as a unit,” Coach Herlihy said. “We are still integrating a lot of new players into the line-up while maintaining our high level of play.”
Slippery Rock faces two tough conference opponents this weekend with back-to-back home match-ups against California University and Shippensburg University.

“We have a tough challenge ahead of us,” Coach Herlihy said, “but we are taking it one game at a time and expect a contest.”

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