Women’s soccer dominates Kenyon 5–1 home
Coming into the weekend with a devastating 2–1 loss in overtime at Allegheny College Tuesday, the Carnegie Mellon women’s soccer team bounced back with a huge win, 5–1, against Kenyon College to improve their record to 4–2–2. Senior co-captain Abby Coffin tied the school record for career goals with the Tartans’ only goal against the Allegheny Gators; first-year Nicole Bayley put two goals on the board for the Tartans; and senior co-captain Mary Ashe, first-year Elsa Wu, and sophomore Adrienne Pajer scored their first career goals Saturday.
On paper, Carnegie Mellon was the stronger side in Tuesday’s match against Allegheny, outshooting their opponent 13–8, but unfortunately, the game had not panned out in the Tartans’ favor at the sound of the final whistle. Despite an overpowering offensive line in the first half, Carnegie Mellon was set back in the 49th minute of play when an own goal was scored. Coffin retaliated in the 70th minute, striking a shot into the right corner past the Gator goalkeeper to equalize the match. The Tartans’ lone goal was Coffin’s fifth of the season and 33rd of her career.
The teams were tied at 1–1 as regulation time drew to a close, but just minutes into overtime, Allegheny put away the game winner when Gators forward Alex Gordon finished a corner kick to the back netting in the 99th minute.
Although statistically Carnegie Mellon had the run of play, the team was only able to get five shots on frame and one in the back of the net, and was unable to monopolize on the 13 free kicks and eight corner kicks awarded. The numerous squandered scoring opportunities proved to be an immense disappointment for Carnegie Mellon, but with Tuesday’s matchup behind them, the Tartans stepped onto their home field with a revitalized spirit and dominated the run of play against Kenyon on Saturday.
The Tartan forward line proved to be a dominating force in Saturday’s win with first-year forwards Kristen Suzich, Wu, and Bayley hungry for goals and heavily pressuring the Kenyon defense. They worked together in combination play in the offensive third, contributing to the team’s 17 shots to Kenyon’s five.
The first goal of the match was entirely a first-year effort in the 19th minute of play, starting with a throw-in from Tina Aliprando to the feet of Suzich, who played the ball to Wu. Wu then headed the ball into the back post to tally her first collegiate goal.
About 20 minutes later, sophomore midfielder Alice Mayfield slotted the ball from the left flank to Bayley, who finished it from the center of the box to score her first collegiate goal as well. Bayley went on to score her second goal of the game when Tartan sophomore midfielder Caroline Danka challenged the Kenyon goalkeeper to come out of the box. Bayley then chipped the ball over the keeper from 30 yards out to have it bounce into the back of the net, putting Carnegie Mellon up by three at the half.
Sophomore defender Emily Overstreet served a corner kick to an unmarked Ashe, who ran onto the ball and struck it past Kenyon keeper to score the team’s fourth goal of the match and her first collegiate goal as well.
The Tartans’ fifth and final goal came off of a free kick from Overstreet, when Suzich was taken down 35 yards from the goal mouth. The ball was played to Pajer’s head, who slammed the ball into the back of the net to also tally her first collegiate goal in the 85th minute.
Sophomore goalkeeper Katy Olesnavage came into the game in the 81st minute and made a huge save with 26 seconds left on the clock to keep the Tartans’ four-goal advantage until the end of regulation.
“Every person on our team played tonight and did a great job in a new system of play, which is why the final score was so impressive,” said head coach Sue Willard. “We have two tough games this week so hopefully the confidence and success we achieved against Kenyon will carry over into these two tough challenges.”
Carnegie Mellon hosts Grove City College Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Gesling Stadium.