Sometimes no matter how hard you try or how much you do, things just don’t go your way. Slippery Rock experienced one of those days on Saturday when Mercyhurst University came to town. The Rock dominated in almost every category, but in the end wasn’t able to put the ball in the back of the net.
In the game, The Rock had 12 shots, which was double the amount that The Lakers took. But Mercyhurst was able to take the lead early in the game behind an Emily Mijares goal. That goal was the only shot on goal that The Lakers had in the first half.
“It took us a while to find a game plan and once we found it we started to give ourselves some opportunities but it was obviously a little too late,” head coach Jessica Giegucz said. “And the goal that they scored was just an unfortunate one.”
The Rock offense is tough to shut down for any team, but Mercyhurst goalkeeper Maddie Elbro had an outstanding game. She was named the PSAC West defensive player of the week, and she was able to stop three shots from the PSAC West offensive player of the week, Rachel Edge. The Rock offense contains three of the most explosive scorers in the conference, with Jordyn Minda and Kayla Swope joining Edge to create a dangerous trio. Six of the shots that were saved came from those three.
Elbro was the difference in the game, as The Lakers offense was never really able to get it going after the goal. In the second half, they had four shots and only two on goal that were both stopped by Rock goalkeeper Emma Yoder. The Rock had plenty of opportunities to knot the game up in the second half as they recorded eight shots in the second half.
“Sometimes the soccer gods aren’t with you on the day, I think it’s one of those things where if we execute a game plan earlier than most of it is taken care of,” Giegucz said.
The best opportunity came late in the second half when Elbro managed to stop a shot from none other than Edge, that was heading straight for the back of the net. The Green and White made one last push in the closing moments of the game. Unfortunately, Rock defender Faith Diffenbacher took a yellow card late, and after the card Slippery Rock wasn’t able to get back on the offensive end quick enough to score the equalizer.
The game was the first game Slippery Rock has dropped this season. It’s the first loss in general for the two new classes of players, but the team will count on the experience from the upperclassman to help them just move forward. The Rock will take on Indiana (Pa.) on the road Wednesday, but Giegucz said that the girls won’t forget this game.
“I think this team has a lot of resilience, so it’s a loss and they’ll move forward,” Giegucz said. “But I think there is going to be a redemption the next time we play them.”