Soccer streak at 3 with weekend wins

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 at 6:54 PM
Soccer streak at 3 with weekend wins by Erica Burkholder
Photo: Kelly Staschak

Edinboro’s women’s soccer team extended their winning streak to three games with two wins over the weekend, a 4-1 victory over Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Friday, and a 3-2 win over Mansfield on Sunday. 

‘Boro struck early against IUP when Danielle Chatten capitalized on a poor pass attempt from Indiana’s goalkeeper and easily found the back of the net from right outside the keeper’s box. 

IUP, though, would strike back halfway through the match. 

Brittnie Spithaler scored next for the Fighting Scots when a Rebecca Manns cross found her barely covered by the defense; all she needed was to tap the ball in. The half ended 2-1 in Edinboro’s favor.

Cameron Bujnoski then scored a goal from a free kick 38 yards out with the ball arching into the corner of the net. 

“That was pretty lucky, I think. Honestly, it’s nice to sometimes just be able to shoot when you’re in the back lot and then when you finally get it in, it feels good,” Bujnoski said of her goal.

Bujnoski not only scored a goal, but she continually shut down IUP as one of the last lines of defense. She said she feels a lot of pressure to continually shut down opposing teams’ offense, but relies on her teammates to communicate with her so she knows when she needs to step up. She thinks the defense is good at organization and that translates to their success.

Chatten scored her second goal of the game when she shot the ball past the IUP goalkeeper about 20 yards out from the box off an Ashley Bayer assist. The game ended 4-1.

“I’ve never met a bunch of kids that are so upbeat and like each other so much and work so hard in spite of what the record is and...we’ve been struggling to score goals, but we just managed to keep it together,” Head Soccer Coach Gary Kagiavas said. “I wouldn’t want to play us right now.”

Edinboro traveled to Mansfield on Sunday, where Brittnie Spithaler scored within the first 10 minutes from 35 yards out, off a Chatten pass. Ellie Frania scored right before the end of the half with Jessica Frank assisting the goal. The half ended 2-0.

The Mountaineers came out to a fast start scoring within the first 4 minutes of the second half. The Mountaineers scored again 8 minutes later to tie the game. 

“It happened really quickly and the game kicked off [in] the second half and there was a wind blowing, a pretty predominant wind, so we kind of knew we were going to be in some trouble. I was more perturbed because we struggled to clear the ball,” Kagiavas added. “The ball was bouncing in the box. It was bobbling. It was doing all kinds of stuff and it created problems, and both their goals came like that. We needed to do a better job of clearing the ball and we just didn’t do that.”

Spithaler responded with another goal a few minutes later when she was on a breakaway from a pass by Mary Sinan. The game ended with Edinboro winning 3-2. 

“We were hoping this one would be a little easier, but it turned out that we got ourselves in some trouble in the second half after we were cruising in the first half,” Kagiavas said. “They got an early goal, which gave them hope, and next thing we knew we were in some trouble.”

Spithaler, who scored a goal against IUP and two against Mansfield, was named the PSAC Women’s Soccer Athlete of the Week on Monday. Spithaler has five goals this season and one assist. Frank and Sinan earned their first career points as Fighting Scots with their assists. 

The team returns home for the final homestand against Seton Hill Wednesday and East Stroudsburg Saturday. They then finish the season on the road at the University of Pittsburgh — Johnstown (UPJ) Oct. 24 and at Bloomsburg Oct. 27. Saturday’s game is one of three home sporting events at Edinboro, with football kicking off at noon, soccer at 4:30 p.m. and volleyball at 7 p.m.

Kagiavas said he’s looking forward to finishing the season against strong opponents.

“Seton Hill and East Stroudsburg are two of the best teams in the conference. Great thing is we play them at home,” he said. “UPJ has been incredible this year. We play them on the road and Bloomsburg is top of the conference.”

“I would tell you I think we can play with anybody. I’m not sure how they’re gonna go. We can play with anybody. I’ll leave it with that because this is gonna be a good challenge for us [in order] to find out exactly what we’re made of. It’s a good way to end the season.”

Erica Burkholder can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: sports, soccer

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