Continuing her individual stretch of great form, senior forward Brooke Testa tallied the game-winning goal Saturday afternoon against West Chester University, which enabled the Slippery Rock University women’s soccer team to continue their hot streak with a 1-0 victory.
With three goals – two game-winners – and an assist over the past five games, Testa added to her season totals with her 55th-minute game-winner. The clutch victory could have regional and national implications.
Although Edinboro University won their match with Mansfield University to deny the Green and White a clinched berth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) playoffs, The Rock’s victory over the Golden Rams all but guaranteed a spot. Meanwhile, the NCAA will take notice of the upset victory as The Rock currently sit on the outside looking in for the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Looking to carry their win streak to four games, the Green and White played the Rams to a scoreless deadlock in the first half. The two PSAC powerhouses played a pretty even half with shots, saves, corner kicks and fouls all either equal or within two tallies of each other.
A freshman to senior connection broke the stalemate early in the second half. Testa, who has been the workhorse of The Rock’s offense, fired a shot that was saved by Rams’ goalkeeper McKenna Mullins, but the rebound landed at the feet of freshman forward Rachel Edge who fed Testa for the easy tap-in goal. Testa’s fifth marker of the season, tied for the team lead with freshman midfielder Jordyn Minda, came from Edge’s team-leading sixth assist of the season.
Testa’s game-winner iced yet another shutout for the stout Rock defense. Ten shutouts for the Green and White show just how dominant this unit has been at limiting chances for opposing teams in a highly competitive conference. The Rock rank third in goals allowed per game at .76 and fifth in total goals allowed with 13 in the PSAC.
Having a potential All-PSAC goalkeeper in senior Kylie Downs helps to ease the load of the experienced defenders. Downs recorded five saves against the Rams and has notched five saves or more in seven of her 14 games this season. Down’s seven shutouts this season tie for second while her goals against average and save percentage rank in the top ten in the PSAC.
Riding the four-game win streak – with two of the wins coming against teams in the top five of the conference – The Rock sits at 11-4-2 while being 9-4-2 in the PSAC. The Green and White have been dominant at home, going 6-1-1.
Sitting at seventh in the PSAC with 29 points, The Rock holds a one-point edge over the Rams who are in eighth place and a nine-point advantage over Gannon who are in ninth place. The top eight teams in the PSAC make the playoffs, with the PSAC Tournament winner guaranteed a spot. A win over the fifth-ranked Rams will give the NCAA a tough decision to make regarding The Rock staying outside the top six.
The regular season comes to a close next Saturday with a home match against Shippensburg University for senior night. The Green and White’s six seniors – Sarah Blue, Julianna Esposito, Skye Kramer, Emily Aldridge, Testa, and Downs – will be honored either before or after the game. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at James Egli Field.