On the heels of their first loss of the season against Millersville, a 1-0 defeat on Sept. 12 at Sox Harrison Stadium, the nationally ranked Edinboro women’s soccer team split a pair of matches this past week.
Edinboro (4-2, 3-1 PSAC) got the week started with a 7-3 victory at PSAC-foe Seton Hill on Sept. 15. The typically defensive minded Scots squad put up seven goals for the first time since Oct. of 2008 in a 7-0 win over Lake Erie.
“The way the other team played, we had a good game plan against them,” Edinboro head coach Gary Kagiavas said in a phone interview. “Unfortunately, in the first minute of the game we gave up a goal. We had opportunities getting behind them. After they scored, we equalized right away. I think after that, they were demoralized and after the fourth or fifth goal they just quit.”
The Fighting Scots were in for quite a first half battle against the Griffins that featured seven goals scored and a 4-3 Edinboro lead at the break. Kagiavas made a change at halftime in goal as true sophomore Sarah Braskey relieved redshirt-sophomore Sierra Davis after Davis had allowed three goals through 45 minutes.
“We started off with Sierra in that game and she was just having a bad day,” Kagiavas said. “She was struggling a little bit and we gave up two goals on corner kicks, which usually we’re very, very sound on. So we made the change and Sarah did extremely well for us.” After scoring a pair of first half goals for Edinboro, senior midfielder/ forward Jansen Hartmann picked up her third goal of the match at the 54:34 mark to record a hat trick.
Hartmann, who paces the Scots in goals scored on the season with six, added an assist on the afternoon to her three-goal performance.
“Jansen’s always special. She’s always been a special player,” Kagiavas said. “She really is an exceptional leader, but she’s a fantastic, fantastic player. Jansen’s always had the ability to do what she’s doing this year.”
Edinboro next traveled to Rochester, New York for a Saturday afternoon contest against the Roberts Wesleyan Redhawks. Trailing 2-0 at halftime and 3-0 within the contest’s first 50 minutes of action, Edinboro nearly completed the comeback in what would turn out to be a 4-3 road loss.
“The first half was kind of weird, because they had I think two shots on goal and it was two goals,” Kagiavas explained. “They had two shots on goal and we were down 2-0. It’s just soccer, right? When they scored their third goal, it was three shots on goal, three goals. It’s just one of those days, you know?”
Getting the nod on Saturday, Braskey went the distance, yielding all four goals and coming up with two saves for the Scots.
The Scots first got on the scoreboard 56 minutes into the action with a Hartmann goal. Hartmann scored the second Edinboro goal with just six minutes remaining in the match, pulling the Scots within a goal.
Despite trailing by two goals late in the match, the improbable comeback effort continued just a minute later as freshman midfielder/forward Chloe Work found the back of the net to make it 3-3 in the closing minutes.
“We changed our formations in the second half,” Kagiavas said. “We started putting on a lot more pressure and we managed to get a couple of goals in and tied it up. The problem is, I think we spent so much energy just to tie it up that we kind of watched the score.”
Despite notching 11 shots on goal and outshooting the Redhawks 16-10 on the afternoon, Roberts Wesleyan’s Bella Mitrevski responded just 19 seconds with the game-winner.
“I could have taken off some forwards and put in defenders and tried to go for a tie,” Kagiavas explained. “I really didn’t want to extend our playing. It was an extremely physical game and I thought seeing that our team was on a roll and we had equalized, we could come back and play to beat them or lose. I didn’t want it going to an overtime situation, especially because it was non-conference.”
Edinboro visited California (Pa.) Wednesday afternoon, after deadline for this issue, and host Lock Haven on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. at Sox Harrison Stadium.
Mike Fenner is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.