The Slippery Rock University women’s soccer team hosted Kutztown University on Tuesday evening in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) matchup. The Rock was unable to claim victory and ultimately fell to the number three ranked Golden Bears with a final score on 2-1.
With the loss, The Rock is now 3-2-1 (3-1-1 in conference play) while Kutztown improves their record to 7-0 (5-0).
Rock head coach Jessica Griggs said that she believes her team played very well competing against a nationally ranked team. Griggs said that her team just needed 10 minutes to try and figure out how to play against Kutztown.
“Unfortunately, we gave up a goal in those 10 minutes,” Griggs said. “But after that, I thought we managed the rest of the game very well and were able to control what we were able to control for the rest of the game.”
Kutztown jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Emily Zwiercan scored her PSAC leading seventh goal of the season in just the sixth minute of play. Neither team could find the back of the net for the remainder of the half, as the Golden Bears took their 1-0 lead into halftime.
Kutztown’s offense would strike again, this time in the 60th minute when Morgan Stanley headed the ball into the back of the net from a corner to increase the Golden Bears’ lead to two goals.
The Green and White would not go down without a fight as freshman Taylor Gunn would record her first goal of the season and the first of her Slippery Rock career to decrease The Rock’s deficit to just one goal. The goal was assisted by junior Skye Kramer, her second assist of the season.
Griggs said she was very happy for Gunn scoring her first collegiate goal.
“Taylor knows how to score goals,” Griggs said. “She has got the speed to get herself in behind defenders and she is a composed finisher. We have high hopes for her continued success here.”
Gunn said scoring her first goal at home was very exciting for her. It was also very nerve-wracking for her, especially it being a one-on-one with the goalie, she said.
“I just kept concentrating and then I was able to just put it into the back of the net,” Gunn explained.
The Rock definitely had their chances to score more goals on Kutztown, Griggs said. Juniors Brooke Testa and Julianna Esposito both had shots where Griggs said she believed her team could have scored. The performance by Jenna Bracken, the goalkeeper for Kutztown, was a major factor in why Slippery Rock was unable to put up more goals, Griggs said.
“It is not like we did not have the opportunities,” Griggs explained. “Sometimes the game just does not fall your way.”
Junior goalkeeper Kylie Downs recorded six saves on eight shots. Downs is eighth in the PSAC with a .800 save percentage, registering 16 saves in five games played. Griggs expressed how pleased she is with Downs’ performance in net for The Rock this year by saying that she does a very good at managing the backline early.
“I think that because of the communication and how she organizes the backline early, she eliminates some things before they happen,” Griggs said.
The Rock will travel to Lock Haven University this Friday to take on the Bald Eagles (2-3) in a PSAC matchup. The match is set to begin at 1:30 p.m.