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Women's soccer builds momentum before conference play

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Tue, Sep 24th 2019 08:50 pm
Junior defender Alexis Couture dribbles while searching for a hole upfield on Saturday, Sept. 7 against Houghton.
Junior defender Alexis Couture dribbles while searching for a hole upfield on Saturday, Sept. 7 against Houghton.

With the beginning of the conference season just around the corner, The College at Brockport women’s soccer team had to avoid a letdown game against Juniata College. Brockport did not allow this to happen as it routed a severely overmatched Juniata squad 8-1. All eight Golden Eagle goals came from different players.

Brockport came out firing, scoring three goals in the first half. Freshman forward Camryn Pettit, freshman forward Kylie Longin and junior forward Fiona Stockdale all found the back of the net in the first frame. Sophomore midfielder Sydnee Smith picked up an assist on Pettit’s goal. The Golden Eagles applied pressure all half, rifling 12 shots at Juniata’s goalkeeper and taking three corner kicks. Freshman goalie Kayla Usborne made both of her saves in the first half.

The pressure continued to increase in the second half, as Brockport improved on its shot and corner kick numbers. The team sent 14 shots toward the net and attempted four corner kicks. Junior defender Marissa Greiner opened the scoring in the second half with the help of freshman midfielder Franchesca Polcaro. Brockport’s dominance was put on hold for a minute and a half after Greiner’s goal, as Juniata netted its only goal of the contest. Another six minutes after conceding a goal, Brockport got one back off the foot of sophomore midfielder Ellen Walpole. Smith picked up her second assist of the game on Walpole’s goal. Senior forward Molly Zientek, freshman midfielder Julia Mascaro and freshman forward Lara Kanbur each scored once in the last 30 minutes to finish off Brockport’s victory. Longin assisted Zientek’s tally, while sophomore defender Kayla Bailey earned the assist on Kanbur’s goal.

The offensive dominance is what sticks out in a blowout win. For Stockdale, the big win does a lot for team morale, which can be key heading into conference play.

“[Saturday’s] win does a lot for our team’s morale,” Stockdale said. “A win like that with a lot of goals from all different players demonstrates our team’s closeness, cohesiveness and depth. Our spirits are very high and there’s a lot of positivity from the team right now and it feels amazing.”

With the offense getting a lot of acclaim for putting up a big number, the defense turned in yet another solid outing. Despite Brockport committing 11 fouls in the game, Juniata could only muster seven shots. Of the seven shots, only three were on net. The defense has been solid all season and Greiner attributes the team’s solidity to a few key factors.

“I’m not sure if there’s one thing specifically that makes us strong in the back, but for sure our ability to communicate and anticipate what our teammates will do is something that we’ve gotten very good at and I think that’s a huge benefit to us,” Greiner said.

Brockport’s next two games are the first two of SUNYAC play in the 2019 season. With the conference opener against SUNY Cortland, the Golden Eagles will have their hands full. Brockport is currently on a three-game losing streak against the Red Dragons, falling in the three games by a combined score of 9-1. However, Cortland is in the midst of a down season, sporting a 3—4 record heading into the matchup. Three of Cortland’s four losses have been 1-0 games.

Brockport has momentum and confidence heading into the game this time around, but Stockdale believes her team needs to forget the recent wins in order to be successful against its rival.

“The most important thing for getting ready to take on Cortland next weekend is having a ‘get back to work’ mentality,” Stockdale said. “Our win [Saturday] was great, but Monday practice we need to get back at it and be working hard right from the start of the week if we want to be ready for the weekend.”

The Golden Eagles’ weekend will consist of two games. The matchup with Cortland will take place at home on Friday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. Brockport is right back at it the next day at the same place against SUNY Oswego at 1 p.m.

 

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