Tartan women’s soccer improves to 2–2–1

After a frustrating 1–0 loss to Capital College on Tuesday, Carnegie Mellon women’s soccer pulled out a 3–0 win over the Juniata Eagles Saturday night to bring their season record to 2–2–1.

On Tuesday night, Carnegie Mellon hosted the Capital Crusaders in a rainy home opener. Capital forward Natasha Ballard scored the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute of play when she took a pass from midfielder Roucille Daza and found an opening on the right side of the net past Carnegie Mellon sophomore goalkeeper Christie Adams. Adams had two saves in the game.

Although the Tartans out-shot the Crusaders 16–6, they were unable to finish and find the back of the net, a problem which has been plaguing the Tartans since the beginning of the season. The Tartans used their practices during the rest of the week to address the problem before facing Juniata on Saturday. Their practice paid off as they blasted three goals past the Eagles.

Junior forward Kasey Stever opened up Tartan scoring Saturday night when she received a pass from senior midfielder Lisa Pascoli and shot the ball past Juniata goalkeeper Lisa Russo. The goal gave the Tartans a 1–0 lead in the 28th minute of play, which is where the score stayed heading into halftime.

In the second half, sophomore forward Abby Coffin increased the Tartan lead to two goals when she scored in the 53rd minute of play. Junior defender Amanda Rose took a corner kick from the left side and crossed the ball to the center, where Coffin scored off a header.

“We have been working on finishes all week. We have been working on corner kicks all week,” said sophomore midfielder Laura Steidel. “So it was really good to put a corner kick in because we have been working on them every practice.”

Stever scored her second goal and the final goal of the game in the 88th minute when she corralled a loose ball for an empty-net goal.
First-year forward Samantha Simmons brought the ball into the left-side of the box and scrambled with Russo until the ball bounced over to Stever, who turned and put the ball into the net.

“Sam came on — she doesn’t get many minutes, but she made the most of her minutes. She did some great work in there,” said head coach Sue Willard.

The Tartans dominated throughout the game, out-shooting the Eagles 14 to one. Adams picked up one save. “[Adams] is starting to make better decisions,” Willard said. “She is working on her weaknesses and she is doing a really good job thus far.”

Since two of the teams’ starting forwards graduated last year, this season has been about trying to fill holes throughout positions. “Losing forwards was a big thing,” said Steidel, “but the people who stepped up really took it upon themselves to learn.”

“Everyone has really good attitudes,” Stever added. “If [Willard] moves positions around, nobody really questions it, or bats an eye.”
The Tartans begin a four-game road trip today when they play Washington & Jefferson at 5 p.m. “Washington & Jefferson are the same type of opponent we played [Saturday], both good building blocks,” said Willard. “One game at a time, we need to win the next game to get to the following game.” The Tartans continue on to play Denison on Saturday at 2 p.m.