The UR women’s soccer team had no trouble bouncing back from three consecutive losses on Monday night, lighting up Alfred University for eight goals in a shutout win.
The ‘Jackets, sitting at 4-3 heading into University Athletic Association competition this weekend, took advantage of the visiting Saxons early and often, compiling four goals before halftime and holding Alfred to no shots in the first half.
It didn’t take long for the Yellowjackets to find net against AU. Senior forward Ali Streeter converted a corner kick by junior midfielder Laura Bojko, heading the ball past the Alfred goalie, Meredith Ragan, 13 minutes in. Leading up to their first goal, the ‘Jackets had a couple other good scoring opportunities.
Sophomore center midfielder Lindsay Rood had a shot that clanged off the crossbar five minutes into the game, and freshman forward Bridgette Varin’s open shot went just wide moments later.
“Our freshman class has really given a spark to our offense,” Rood said after the game Monday. “Bridgette [Varin] and Kirsten [Ross] have been good at creating scoring opportunities, and Meaghan Magee has been solid for us on defense.”
The ‘Jackets , and especially Streeter, had no trouble finishing the ball Monday. Streeter had two goals before the half. Her second goal came five minutes after the first, when senior midfielder Tammy Brewster received a pass from senior midfielder Laura Morrison and played it in for Streeter, who again found the back of the goal.
Streeter came close to registering the hat trick two minutes later, when Bojko crossed a ball into the box. Streeter was there for the finish, but the ball sailed just wide of the goal.
Not long after that opportunity, it looked like UR had its third goal of the night, when Rood sent a free kick into the box that was mishandled by Ragan, falling in the lap of Bojko, who drove the ball home. The goal was waived off seconds later on account of a questionable off sides call against the ‘Jackets.
Bojko was unfazed by the call, however. With four minutes left to play in the half, she crossed a ball into the box, which found the head of a diving sophomore forward Erin Carballo. The ball got past Ragan, and UR took a 3-0 lead.
Three minutes later, junior Kelsey Turley fielded a ball from senior defender Amy Thompson and got behind the Alfred defenders. Her shot was tipped by Ragan, but the ball still found the right corner of the goal, giving the ‘Jackets the 4-0 advantage they took into halftime.
UR kept up the offense in the second half. Varin and Brewster found the net in the first 10 minutes of the half, giving the ‘Jackets a 6-0 lead. To close the game, freshman midfielder Jessica Blum and sophomore defender Stephanie Diebold put the ball past Ragan to give the game its final 8-0 score.
The Yellowjackets finished the game with 40 shots and 15 corner kicks. Senior Molly Leitch started the game in goal for the ‘Jackets, and after not having to make a save in the first 45 minutes of play, senior Kate Levy and sophomore Celeste Hornbach took over for the remaining half.
Defensively, the ‘Jackets were led by strong play on the left side by senior defender Darby Grant. Thompson and Rood were also effective in keeping the ball out of the Yellowjacket end and controlling the center of the field. Senior Ashley Van Vechten was solid on defense as well, doing a good job of working the ball through the ranks of the Alfred defense and keeping any Saxon offense at bay.
Offensive leaders for the ‘Jackets were Bojko, with three assists, and Brewster, who had one goal in six shots and two assists. Other strong performances were turned in by Streeter, with two goals, and Morrison, who had two assists. Thompson also compiled six shots and an assist.
For the Saxons, Ragan finished with 16 saves. The team had two shots on goal and no corners in 90 minutes.
“This win should provide us with some momentum going into UAA competition this weekend,” Rood said. “We’ve switched our formation, which will hopefully allow for us to put more offensive pressure on our opponents. Brandeis is a good team, and team play from our side is going to be key.”
UR travels to Brandeis University on Saturday to take on the 6-1-1 Judges at 7:30 p.m. for their first UAA game of the season. The ‘Jackets return to Fauver Stadium on Oct. 2, when they will take on SUNY Geneseo at 4 p.m.
Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.