Saturday’s home opener was a welcoming site to fans as well as the women’s soccer team as they blanked the St. John Fisher Cardinals 3-0. The win came as a result of good communication that led to strong passing. The offense pressured the Cardinals’ defense throughout the entire game by putting 31 shots on net. Sophomore Angela Heaney accumulated the most with seven and sophomore Emily Urbanczyk managed six against the Cardinals’ goalie. It didn’t take much pressure to crack the Cardinals’ defense, especially at 3:36 when sophomore Emily Urbanczyk connected with sophomore Anne McMahon to give the Yellowjackets a 1-0 lead. The UR offense continued its siege against the Cardinals. Midway through the first half, McMahon received the ball and carried it up the side of the field into the Cardinals’ corner before crossing it over to senior Portia Bridges, who had infiltrated the Cardinals’ 18-yard line undetected. Bridges settled the ball right in front of the goalie before she placed it in the upper left corner of the net, increasing the team’s lead to two. The Yellowjackets’ defense allowed only one shot on net during the first half. Accompanying the defense was freshman Ashley Van Vechten. Van Vechten attributed the lines’ success to communication. “We all really communicated on the same level,” Van Vechten said. “It allowed us to know where [our opponents] were at all times on the field. We knew where we were going to stop them.”During the second half, the line kept up its pressure on the Cardinals’ offense, forcing them to make costly mistakes. Van Vechten recalls seeing her teammates “stepping up to the ball and owning the midfield.” The Cardinals were allowed only three shots on goal.The Yellowjackets delivered the final blow in the last 10 minutes of the game against a frustrated Cardinals’ goalie. Senior Laura Tobias, a defensive player, brought the ball all the way up the field beating several tackles. On her final tackle she temporarily lost the ball in the air. Tobias recovered the loose ball and shuffled it over to McMahon who sent the ball into the bottom right corner of the net securing the victory for the team. In the last half minute of the game freshman goalie Molly Leitch replaced junior Adrienne Hulchanski, who had held the Cardinals scoreless with one save. Leitch entered the game and preserved the shutout. Van Vechten, who played in front of both Leitch and Hulchanski, felt that the two contributed immensely to the team’s win despite receiving little action. “Even though they weren’t as tested as they were in other games they did a great job communicating with the back four,” Van Vechten said.The last two games ended in similar fashion – a double overtime draw. Both games came against teams ranked in the top 20 of their division poll. The first draw was against William Smith College, ranked No. 11, and Union College, ranked No. 16. In both games scoring was limited due to powerful defensive squads. The Yellowjackets hope to rebound from their minor offensive slump this week at home against Rochester Institute of Technology and then away on the road against SUNY Oswego. Serafini can be reached at jserafini@campustimes.org.



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