Looking to rebound following consecutive draws for the first time in Rock women’s soccer history, the Slippery Rock women’s soccer team took on Seton Hill University in a road Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) matchup on Wednesday afternoon. The Rock suffered a 2-1 defeat at the feet of the Griffins to end their six-match point streak.
With early goals from The Rock and the Griffins canceling each other out, Griffins’ forward Italia Biondi’s 57th-minute strike proved to be the game-winner.
The Griffins took an early lead, capitalizing on a failed Rock clearance off a corner kick, in the 2nd minute. Freshman forward Jordyn Minda continued a trend of scoring timely goals for The Rock this season by slotting home her team-leading fifth of the season less than eight minutes later.
Minda used her pace to break through the Griffins’ back line, racing past the center backs, to collect a through ball sent past the defense by freshman forward Reagan Reeves. Minda calmly found the back of the net, beating Griffins’ goalkeeper Jessica Neill with a well-placed shot.
Unable to muster a shot on goal after the Griffins’ goal in the 57th minute, The Rock fell short in a potential comeback and took a 2-1 loss on the road.
A strong first half in which the Green and White tallied five shots faded away into a second half where only one shot was attempted. With only four shots on goal, The Rock continued a streak of not registering more than five shots on goal since registering 12 in a 6-0 victory over Mansfield University.
In 10 games this season, The Rock has averaged just 5.8 shots on goal per game which ranks 14th in the PSAC. Despite ranking toward the bottom of the conference in SOG per game, the Green and White rank eighth in goals per game with a clip of 1.500 per game. While showcasing The Rock offense’s clinical finishing ability, this stat also suggests that an uptick in SOG per game would lead to an even higher goals per game.
With the offense still working toward a true breakout performance, The Rock boasts one of the stingiest defenses in the conference. Two potential All-PSAC goalkeepers in senior Kylie Downs and freshman Emma Yoder patrol the goal, capable of providing a shutout any given night.
Holding a game or two in hand over conference leaders, the Green and White rank fourth in the PSAC with only four goals allowed in 10 games. Ranking fourth in goals against average (.60) with over 200 more minutes played than the first and third place teams, The Rock has been forced to endure long, strenuous matches this season and their defense has come out on top 70% of the time.
Downs now sits at 4-2-1 with an .829 save percentage and .83 goals against average, both which rank among the top of the PSAC. Yoder has not been beaten in three games, 2-0-1, and boasts a 1.000 save percentage and .000 goals against average. Downs has four shutouts this season while Yoder has three.
Falling to seventh in the PSAC, The Rock now sits at 6-2-2 (.700) with a 4-2-2 (.625) record in the conference. Seton Hill rose up the standings, sitting third in the PSAC after the victory. The Griffins’ record now reads 7-2-0 (.778) with a 6-2-0 (.750) record in the conference.
A two-game homestand starts for the Green and White on Saturday, September 29th against PSAC leader East Stroudsburg University. The top offense in the conference will test the stout Rock defense in a contest that will undoubtedly serve as a measuring stick performance for the young squad.