By Micheal Battista
The women’s soccer team is entering the final phase of its regular season. The No. 2 nationally ranked Lions played on the road, but the results have not differed. On Oct. 18, the Lions beat No. 6 Stevens Institute of Technology, 1-0. They wrapped the week up by crushing New Jersey Athletic Conference rival Kean University, 7-0, on Saturday, Oct. 21.
The team jumped from third to second when the United Soccer Coaches national rankings were announced on Oct. 17. Washington University in St. Louis, fell to No. 5 after suffering its first loss of the season. This gave the Lions a chance to catch up to No. 1 University of Chicago.
The Lions shifted their focus away from their new ranking and toward their next opponents as they traveled to Hoboken, New Jersey to face off against the No. 16 Stevens, one of the best teams in the northeast region.
For the first time this season, the Lions were outshot by their opponents in the first half. Stevens put up eight shots compared to the College’s seven. Sophomore goalkeeper Nicole DePasquale made two saves and two more shots were blocked by members of the team.
After the near even first half, the team regrouped. In just the first 21 seconds of the second half, sophomore midfielder Taylor Nolan took a shot that went wide to the right. The Lions kept the ball in the Stevens’ zone, nonetheless. In the 49th minute, senior midfielder Jessica Goldman blasted a shot toward the goal, but it was saved by the fingertips of the Stevens’ goalkeeper. Being in the right spot at the right time, senior midfielder Elizabeth Thoresen jumped on the loose ball and put it into the back of the net.
The goal marked Goldman’s 24th assist, placing her in sixth place in the Lion’s record book for career assists.
Stevens was unable to get themselves fully back into the game after this point. The College outshot the home team 15 to one in the last 45 minutes, giving Stevens few chances to even the score.
The Lions starting defense, sophomores Jen McGrogen and Ally DeRiggi and senior Kelly Wieczerzak stayed on the entire duration of the game and helped give DePasquale her 10th complete shutout of the season.
The team’s penultimate regular season matchup brought them to Union on Saturday to face off against fellow NJAC rival, Kean University. Kean has found itself in the middle of the conference table, vying for a first round spot in the upcoming NJAC Playoffs.
Kean could not elevate their playoff seeding against the Lions. Only 17 seconds into the game, the Lions pounced on a unsuspecting defense. Goldman took the ball up the sideline and served it toward the net, finding senior forward Christine Levering open for a header past Kean’s goalkeeper.
With the goal, Levering moved into first all-time for career points as a Lion with 138. The former leader was alumnae Dana DiBruno (’07). Levering’s 11th goal of the season also moved her into second place all-time for career goals with 56, only two goals behind all-time leader and alumna Traci Tapp (’98).
The Lions pulled further away from Kean when freshman defender Devon McDonough gained possession after a deflection from the goalkeeper in the 6th minute. She found freshman midfielder Kelly Carolan and set her up for the goal.
Freshman forward Kayla Bertolino, the sister of current senior midfielder Kayla Bertolino, also had a big match. First, she aided senior forward Hannah Richman in the 27th minute with an assist by passing to set up a goal. Later in the 41st minute, she not only kicked off a scoring spree, but she also notched her first ever goal as a Lion. Sophomore midfielder Despina Lianidis found Bertolino 10 yards out from goal and passed to her, allowing the latter to rip a shot past the goalie.
Sophomore midfielder Alexa Beatty did not need to wait long after Bertolino to score a goal of her own. About 20 seconds later, Richman set Beatty up with an opportunity to shoot from the left side, which she made. With just 20 seconds to play in the first half, freshman defender Ally Weaver’s shot hit a defender blocking the net. Beatty rushed toward the open ball made a goal, giving her team a 6-0 lead heading into halftime.
The team slowed down in the second half, but Weaver still found a way to score her first goal as a Lion. In the 60th minute, freshman midfielder Faith Eichenour took a set piece in the left corner and found Weaver in the box to give their team a 7-0 end result.
The College outshot Kean, 46-4, with none of Kean’s attempts being on target.
The team finishes its regular season on the road against Rowan University at Glassboro on Wednesday, Oct. 25. The Lions will have a chance to clinch the NJAC regular season title with a win or tie.