On Wednesday, the Slippery Rock women’s soccer team was able to pick another
conference victory and extend its winning streak to six games. Slippery Rock (6-1-0, 5-0-0 PSAC) defeated the IUP Crimson Hawks, 3-1.
“I thought overall it was an okay performance, I think IUP is a really difficult team to
play against because of the style that they play. I think my girls handled it well, I just think it took us a while to get going,” SRU coach Jessica Griggs said.
IUP tied West Virginia Wesleyan for the most shots on goal against The Rock this year with eight.
IUP opened the scoring four minutes in when Mahogany Willis received a pass from
Alayna Ryan, that led to a one on one situation between Willis and Emma Yoder. IUP held the lead until the 35th minute when Georgia Nagucki evened the score with a shot that went off the crossbar and then off of IUP goaltender Madeline Smakulski before going in.
The score remained tied up until the 66th minute when the Rock broke through again
with a goal from Kayla Swope who also assisted on Nagucki’s goal. The Rock put the game
away in the 79th minute as Nagucki assisted Sofia Harrison to make the score 3-1.
The Rock had the edge in nearly every category in the game. Slippery Rock took 19 total
shots and had nine shots on goal. 13 of the 19 shots came in the second half for the Rock as they took control of the game in the second 45 minutes. IUP got ten shots and eight shots were on target, but ultimately the Crimson Hawks were only able to get on the board once.
“[Emma Yoder] isn’t called upon a lot but when she is she deals with that pressure really
well and makes big saves for us. And once you see your keeper being tested a few times a game and coming up big for you, I think that rejuvenates the field players to go ‘oh okay we can’t let that happen, we’ve got to take care of our jobs too,” Griggs said.
Yoder put on another good performance for The Rock, coming up with seven saves including two in the span of seconds as she made a save against Willis only to be tested again while she was on the ground.
The Rock took 13 corners in the game and only allowed the Crimson Hawks one. Slippery Rock took nine of the 13 corners in the second half and although the Rock took 13 corners,
they were unable to score off of any of them.
Swope led Slippery Rock with three shots and two on goal while Miranda Gallucci also
had three shots and two on goal. Other contributors for the Rock included Tyler Spence with two shots and both on goal, Rachel Edge who had three shots and Jordyn Minda with two shots.
The majority of IUP’s offense came from Harris who recorded six shots with four on goal.
Both teams had one yellow card and IUP led with ten fouls compared to Slippery Rock’s
nine. Both yellow cards happened in the 78th minute and 12 of the 19 fouls in the game happened in the second half.
“I think one thing we do is possess the ball really well, so when we put it on the ground
and just knock it around, it just really opens up a lot of space that other teams have to defend or close down. I think we wear teams down in possession and speed,” Griggs said.
The Rock won possession by a wide margin against IUP, winning possession 62% to 38%.
The Rock extended its series lead over IUP to 19-16-2 with the win on Wednesday and
also remained unbeaten in conference play.
The Rock also bumped their win streak up to six games, which is the longest streak since they won seven in a row in 2016. The game also marked the first time since the season opener that Edge didn’t have a goal, as she scored a goal in five straight games and had an assist in three straight coming into the game.
The Rock will look to continue its stellar play Saturday, Sept. 28 against California (Pa.) at home.