It’s been just over nine months since The Rock women’s soccer team was last in action. The last time they took the pitch, they got from the PSAC tournament by Gannon in a 5-3 loss that marked what felt like the end of an era for the team. Now most of the team from their PSAC championship team is gone, with the exception of the seniors and Emma Yoder, who returned as a graduate player.
Thursday on the road against West Virginia Wesleyan, it felt like the beginning of something new. The seniors, who just three years ago were starting out the season on a crisp Thursday night against the same team at home, were now in charge. In those three years a lot happened. It feels like it’s been an eternity since then.
Because of that, this team with captains Kayla Swope, Sydney Patrick and Sierra Lawyer, were looking to make their mark and show who this team was going to be. They did just that.
In the first 25 minutes of the game, The Rock defense only allowed West Virginia Wesleyan to have one shot on goal. In that same span, the Green and White had four different players take a shot. The culmination of that offense was an Ashley Rea penalty shot goal.
But where there is a new lineup, there are bound to be mishaps. The Rock’s first mishap of the season came just nine minutes after they took the 1-0 lead. After a foul on the Rock, the Bobcats took advantage as Beth Burchett received a pass from Hannah Murphy that wound up in the back of the net.
For the next 50 minutes of gameplay, both teams battled and put an emphasis on the defensive end. There were only six shots overall that came in up until the 80th minute of play. The Rock registered four of those, with two coming from Rea.
With less than 20 minutes to go, The Rock received a red card on the entire team. In a lot of games, that could shift the momentum. But in this game, it didn’t.
13 minutes later, The Rock’s Jamie Dermotta sank a shot to give the Green and White the advantage. The goal was Dermotta’s first for Slippery Rock on the season and in her career.
The Rock was able to hold onto the game for their first win of the season and their third win over West Virginia Wesleyan since 2018. The win is a big boost for a team that is showcasing a lot of new names and talent this season.
The Rock women’s soccer team returns to action with three games over the next ten days, including returning to Gannon for a rematch of last years playoff game. They return to action on Sunday at home against Fairmont State University.