The Slippery Rock University women’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season against the Walsh University Cavaliers, 1-0, on Thursday night. The Rock (0-1-0) hosted Walsh (1-0-0) at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium in both team’s season opener. The game was a non-conference battle that saw Walsh take the lead in the seventh minute and not surrender it for the remainder of the game.
“Organizationally I think they were great, obviously we had a ton of momentum attacking
wise. Finishing is the only thing I could put a pointer on,” SRU coach Jessica Griggs said. The Rock failed to score, although they had more scoring chances and better opportunities than Walsh.
The first and only goal of the night came in the seventh minute off of a corner from
Sabrina Ortenzi and was put in by Hannah Bowman. The goal was the first Rock keeper Emma Yoder has allowed in her collegiate career. Yoder recorded five saves on the night after the goal. Slippery Rock had more scoring chances than Walsh, recording 15 total shots with 10 on goal while Walsh had nine shots with six being on goal. Sophomore Jordyn Minda led the Rock with four shots and three on goal. She was followed by Rachel Edge and Ashley Rea, who both had two shots on goal. Bowman led Walsh with four shots and three on goal.
“They did all they could to get those scoring chances, now all they need to do is just put it in the goal,” Griggs said.
Overall The Rock played solid defense throughout the night, limiting the number of shots
taken by Walsh and limiting scoring opportunities. The Rock won possession on the night,
controlling the ball for 60% of the game and also took four corners compared to Walsh’s two.
“We did a good job putting pressure on the ball, so we really didn’t let them out of their
half, that was something I was really impressed with. When we were doing that we were able to find a pass, pick a pass, kind of pick them apart from the wide spaces, but set more centrally that was a little more difficult for us,” Griggs said.
The Rock was able to keep pressure on Walsh the whole game, rarely allowing them
across midfield, but when they did the ball usually wound up with Bowman. The Rock was able to get quality chances off of turnovers all game but, Walsh goalkeeper Mickey McClanahan was able to stop shots all night, as she ended with 10 saves. McClanahan was able to hold off The Rock’s effort for an equalizer late in the game, including a save against senior defender Madison Johnson in the final two minutes off of a corner
“I’m pleased with them, obviously it sucks to lose and I’m not too thrilled with the way
we gave up and how early we gave up the goal, but I hope this gives them a lot of confidence moving forward,” Griggs said.
They will look to keep the momentum they built in the final 83 minutes of the game into
their next game. The Rock will resume play on Sunday as they will travel to face West Virginia Wesleyan in their final non-conference game this season. The Rock played West Virginia Wesleyan in their season opener last season where they earned a 1-0 victory. The Rock finished last season with only one regulation loss at home. After the game on Sunday, they will travel to Clarion to play the Golden Eagles in their first conference action.