Edinboro won its third straight match with a 2-0 home victory over visiting Mercyhurst on Tuesday in the annual Fighting Scots Fighting Cancer Night at Sox Harrison Stadium.
Scoring wins over PittJohnstown and West Chester, Edinboro (8-3, 7-2 PSAC) has allowed just one goal in their last three matches while outscoring its opponents 9-1.
“After the last loss to Lock Haven, we were just waiting for one more kid to get healthy,” head coach Gary Kagiavas said. “We had a formation setup and we were just going to try a different formation when we play against two forwards and a different formation when we play against three forwards. We’ve been working on that and it’s been working really good for us.”
According to the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, the Scots entered the week ranked 25th in the nation among division two schools as well as coming in ranked third in the Atlantic Region.
“After the third win, it feels good obviously, but we’ve got to keep working because we still have seven or eight more games left ahead of us, so we’ve got to keep working,” freshman midfielder Halle Hammer said. “[We’ve] got to keep the mentality that we’re going to win each game and keep pushing each other to do our best.”
After dominating the ball for most of the first half, senior forward/midfielder Alexis Becker scored on a close shot in the 40th minute on an assist from freshman forward Alex Root. Edinboro, which outshot Mercyhurst 10-1 through the first half, led 1-0 at halftime on Becker’s second goal of the season.
“I’ll be honest with you, I thought we had two or three other opportunities that were better to score at, but you know, you take what you get,” Kagiavas said. “The linesman’s call is to see if the ball goes in or not and she clearly called it. That happens so much in soccer where the ball goes in and then comes out. Actually, in the past against Gannon, against Mercyhurst before, they didn’t call the goal, so it’s our turn I guess. It’s our turn to get one.”
Hammer tacked on Edinboro’s second goal of the match from 25 yards out in the 59th minute. Hammer, who scored her sixth goal of the season, stressed the importance of keeping the foot on the gas after the first 45 minutes of play.
“After the first half, we were definitely outplaying them,” Hammer said. “We just had to wait for it to keep coming and eventually it did. We got our chances, a lot more than them, obviously. Just keep pushing for the second and third goal.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Baskey recorded three saves in the shutout win. Baskey is now 6-1 in the net this season with four shutouts and a .727 save percentage.
“Our defense is playing amazing,” Hammer said. “By them doing well, it allows our offense to be better, I think. It’s nice to see that.”
The Scots return to Sox Harrison Stadium for a threegame home stand when they welcome Kutztown (Oct. 17), Slippery Rock (Oct. 21) and East Stroudsburg (Oct. 24) before finishing up the 2015 regular season with back-toback road affairs at Indiana (Pa.) and Mansfield.
“We’re just trying to focus on one game at a time,” Kagiavas said. “I’ve looked at our schedule and it’s just a hard game after a difficult game after another hard game after another difficult game.”
Mike Fenner is a Senior Staff Writer for The Spectator.