The SRU women’s soccer team ended their recent struggles with a dominant 5-1 win against conference rival Bloomsburg University on Wednesday afternoon.
After falling to California University (Pa.) in a heartbreaking double overtime loss last Friday, and coming up short against Shippensburg on Saturday, the Green and White turned things around with a powerful offensive performance in a much needed Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference match-up.
Slippery Rock now posts a record of 7-3-0 overall and 4-3-0 in PSAC play, as they enter the major course of their schedule.
SRU showed their might on Wednesday, scoring five unanswered goals in their 5-1 victory over the Huskies.
“Wednesday was a must win for us to stay in the hunt for things the rest of the season,” head coach Noreen Herlihy said. “The coaches asked for a response and we got it. We had control of the game in the first half.”
The Rock was unstoppable on offense, posting advantages of 33-3 in total shots, 18-3 in shots on goal, and 12-0 in corner kicks.
It was the Huskies who struck first with a free kick goal by defender Lauren Kreglow in the 20th minute. The Green and White tied the game in the 41st minute to enter halftime all even at 1-1.
Belief was the message to the players at half time.
“They got to believe that they are good enough to compete after coming off back to back losses,” Herlihy said. “We came out and played the Rock soccer we know we are capable of. “
The Rock came out guns blazing in the second half, scoring four goals in just over 10 minutes and tallying 12 shots on goal in the first 12 minutes.
Sophomore forward Lucy Hannon picked up two goals and grabbed one assist in another stellar performance. She now has seven goals and four assists on the season.
“Hannon has big expectations on her shoulders with so many injuries,” Herlihy said. “She’s capable of meeting them. She is a tireless worker and works her socks off.”
Sophomore midfielder Leslie Henny added a goal and an assist while sophomore forward Alexandra Brosky picked up two assists. Senior captain and defender Emer Flatley and sophomore forward Nichole Krueger each had a goal, while junior defender Lauren Impey and senior midfielder Shelby Ward rounded out the score sheet with an assist each.
Junior keeper Dana O’Neill earned her seventh win in goal for the Rock, recording three saves.
Flatley led the charge for SRU, tallying the game-tying goal in the 41st minute, when she scored her first goal of the season, off of the assist from Impey.
Hannon grabbed what would become the game-winning goal in the 61st minute, off the header from Brosky. Krueger notched her first of the year with a header in the 68th minute off a cross from Hannon.
It took just 63 seconds for the Rock to make it 4-1, when Henny chipped the keeper after getting the pass from Brosky.
Hannon grabbed her second goal of the match in the 72nd minute on a two-on-one breakaway with Ward, who picked up the assist.
Slippery Rock pulled its starting 10 field players after picking up the fifth goal. The Rock finished the game with 21 players seeing action.
The Rock needed this victory after a disappointing weekend double-header.
“They absolutely gave a fantastic response after back to back losses and it’s everything that we needed,” Herlihy said.
The Rock faced a difficult loss on Friday when California (Pa.) scored the golden goal on their only shot of the second overtime with 47 seconds left on the clock to claim the 2-1 victory.
California was locked in their own half of the field for nine minutes of the second overtime until a foul gave California possession with just over a minute to play.
“We did have most of the possession in the game against Cal,” junior midfielder Stephanie Buckenheimer said. “But in the end we made a mistake that cost us the game. Cal was a good team and took advantage of that mistake!”
Slippery Rock posted a 6-1 shot advantage in the overtime with a 4-1 advantage with shots on goal. The Rock finished the game with a 19-18 total shot advantage, 8-6 in shots on goal, and 8-3 on corner kicks.
“The players are bitterly disappointed,” Herlihy said. “They worked hard and we clearly dominated the overtime period, but we couldn’t come away with any points.”
After their heart-breaking double overtime loss, the Rock had little time to rest before the second match of their double-header on Saturday against Shippensburg University.
The game was back and forth throughout the first half but both teams were held scoreless. SRU came out in the second half, posting a 7-2 edge in shots over the first 30 minutes.
The Raiders powered through to grab two goals in the final ten minutes of the contest to grab the 2-0 shutout victory.
The Rock was desperate for a turn-around as they move into the heart of their schedule, closing out the season with seven straight PSAC match-ups.
“This weekend was rough,” Buckenheimer said, “We showed the team what we are capable of! We are getting back on the right track and we are all looking forward to continuing to redeem ourselves this weekend.”
Slippery Rock will travel to East Stroudsburg for a 6 p.m. kick-off Saturday. East Stroudsburg posts a 5-2-3 record and a 4-1-2 record in conference play.