by Ben Jacobs

Campus Times Staff

The women?s soccer team rebounded from a tough opening weekend with a 3-0 win over the SUNY Geneseo Blue Knights Saturday.Freshman sweeper Sarah Tarka slipped and lost her left shoe while trying to take a free kick, but immediately got up and banged the ball off a defender. Freshman striker Portia Bridges collected the rebound and slipped it past the goalie with six minutes left in the first half.

Junior midfielder Meg Barritt stole the ball near midfield 30 seconds later and took it to the net, where she stuck a shot in the lower left-hand corner for a 2-0 lead.

The Yellowjackets had six good scoring chances in the first 30 minutes, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net.

?We didn?t play great,? coach Terry Gurnett said. ?but we didn?t let the fact that we struggled to score stop us.?

The defense, which featured a player from each class, made life easy for sophomore goalie Sarah Malecki. Tarka played a composed game as the last line of defense, using her body to assert her presence in front of the net when necessary.

Senior stopper Jen Seferiadis, junior outside back Amy Kelmenson and sophomore outside back Jenica Schmidt also played tough defense, limiting Geneseo to five shots.

?It?s my fervent hope to bore [Malecki] to tears every game,? Gurnett said.

?I tell her, ?If you make one great stop for us, we?ll win the game for you.??

Malecki did just that, deflecting a point blank shot with 18 minutes left in the game to preserve the two-goal lead.

?That would have changed the whole pace of the game,? Gurnett said.

UR got a third goal with 2:24 left when the ball slipped behind the Geneseo defense. Sophomore Lindsay Reilly controlled the loose ball and fired it past a surprised goalkeeper.

The Yellowjackets followed Saturday?s shutout with another on Monday, beating the Cortland Red Dragons 1-0 to improve to 2-2.

Seferiadis blasted a free kick from 35 yards out that just slipped between Cortland goalie Ali Gray?s outstretched arm and the crossbar 17 minutes into the second half to give UR all the offense it would need.

Stifling defense was the key to victory again, as Cortland managed only one shot.

Malecki earned her second straight shutout. She is replacing Kate Donhauser, who graduated with 39 career shutouts and a streak of 5,791 consecutive minutes in goal.

?Obviously [the goalkeeper] was an area of concern, but Sarah is such a hard worker and she?s very reliable,? Gurnett said.

?She gives us an added dimension of being very strong with her feet, so we can play the ball back to her with confidence.?

The Yellowjackets lost two games on Labor Day weekend to open the season. UR lost to Eastern Connecticut State 3-1 on Saturday, Sept. 1 despite outshooting the Warriors 28-4. The following day, UR lost to Keene State 1-0 in overtime.

The women will face action next Tuesday Sept. 18 as UR travels to rival across town to the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Ben Jacobs can be reached at bjacobs@campustimes.org.



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