The women’s soccer team brought a three game win streak into Tuesday’s home contest against the unbeaten Saints of St. Lawrence University – one run would have to come to an end. Going into the game, the Yellowjackets posted three shutout victories in a row, but met their match when the Saints’ grinding defense held UR scoreless. After scoring the game’s only goal early on, the Saints bunkered down in their defensive end and clung to their 1-0 lead, moving St. Lawrence to 4-0 and UR to 3-2 on the year.
The Yellowjackets got off to a slow start in the first half with errand passes and unsuccessful attempts at moving the ball through the middle of the field.
“In the first half we forced the issue a bit too much, and our passing needed to be better,” said head coach Terry Gurnett. “We had some bad luck on the goal by St. Lawrence, but we did a terrific job of getting crisper with the ball in the second half.”
The tough break came for UR when senior goalkeeper, Sarah Malecki made a diving save, just to have the rebound land on the foot of St. Lawrence forward, Nicole Lopez.
The Yellowjackets came out in the second looking to score. The passes were on, and the team worked hard to create solid scoring opportunities, but didn’t convert.
UR had 21 shots compared to St. Lawrence’s eight, but the ball seemed to find everything except the back of the net. A few near goals came off of breakaways, but the ball flew over the top of the goal on one occasion and clanked off of the crossbar on another.
“Not to take anything away from St. Lawrence, they played a smart game, but we out worked them. In the second half, it was our game, we just have to work on finishing,” Gurnett said.
Before Tuesday’s loss, UR was ranked second in the New York Region and 15th nationally.
The Yellowjackets moved up the polls as a result of convincing shutout wins over regional rivals St. John Fisher College and SUNY Cortland.
Saturday, the Yellowjackets travelled to St. John Fisher and handed the Cardinals a 3-0 defeat. All three goals came unassisted off of the foot of senior forward Alison Collins.
Collins three goals, combined with a goal in her previous game against Cortland gave her four goals for the week and earned her honors as the University Athletic Association’s offensive player of the week and as the Rochester Area Collegiate Athletics co-female athlete of the week.
Sophomore goalkeeper Adrianne Hulchanski recorded two saves in goal enroute to a 3-0 win.
On Sept. 3, the Yellowjackets hosted Cortland and controlled the game from the beginning. UR came away from the game with a 4-0 win and the second of their three shutouts.
Colins scored the first goal unassisted just under six minutes into the game. The goal was shortly proceeded by a tally from freshman forward Emily Urbanczyk off an assist from junior midfielder, Karen Forsythe.
Junior forward Kristin Kelly tacked on two insurance goals in the second half. The first score came off of a penalty kick and the latter of the two was assisted by senior midfielder Sarah Crimmins.
Malecki and Hulchanski combined to pick up the shoutout in goal.
Prior to the Cortland game, UR was in Texas where they beat up on Southwestern University 8-0, but suffered a 3-0 opening season loss to Trinity University.
Trinity was then ranked number three nationally and took advantage of an unprepared Yellowjackets team.
“We weren’t quite ready to play, but we learned alot about our team in the Trinity game. We came out two days later against Southwestern and it clicked, it seemed like every shot that we took went in,” Gurnett said.
“We have improved on our transition from defense to attack and we are developing a very balanced offense. This team has great senior leadership and I am excited to see how good we can be.”
Gurnett and his Yellowjackets will not have any time to feel sorry for themselves after the loss to St. Lawrence, seeing as they face three dangerous New York Regional programs in their next three games.
UR will host SUNY Geneseo Saturday, Sept. 13, at 12:00 p.m.
This contest will be followed by away games against William Smith College on Sept. 17 and Union College on Sept. 20.
“We have some work to do, but I know we will be ready for the upcoming games,” Gurnett said.
Fitzsimmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.