The women’s soccer team ended their home season with a bang, defeating Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 4-1 on Senior Night to improve to 8-5-2 before heading out of town to take on UAA rivals Case Western Reserve University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Chicago.

The win marked the 47th career victory of the Class of 2004, a talented class of six seniors consisting of Alison Collins, Sarah Crimmins, Sarah Malecki, Liz Morrison, Lindsay Reilly, and Jenica Schmidt. As a group they have stood out both on the field and off, leading the squad to the UAA title their sophomore year and having the 15th-highest grade point average out of two hundred senior colleges playing women’s soccer.

The Yellowjackets led a balanced attack versus the Engineers, wearing down a fast and athletic RPI team in order to dictate the pace of the game. “It was our last night and our last opportunity to win against a highly motivated team,” Head Coach Terry Gurnett said. “I was pleased about being able to score four goals, we really got ourselves worked up emotionally this weekend and we were able to come off the field winners.”

The Yellowjackets scored their first goal of the game at 16:49 by Crimmins. Crimmins was able to rebound a blocked shot by Collins to send the soccer ball flying past the Engineer keeper.

UR struck again later in the first half with a goal by junior Kristen Kelly, who booted a kick from 40 yards out to increase the Yellowjackets’ lead to 2-0. The last two goals of the contest were scored in the second half from a ball headed by Schmidt and a straight shot by junior Sarah Tarka. “We played very well. In the beginning of the game we had a hard time controlling the pace of the contest but once we settled down we were able to dictate the pace of the match,” Gurnett said.

Goalie Malecki played a strong game, tallying four saves and allowing only one goal.

The team has quite a challenge in the guise of three tough UAA teams in three different areas of the country. “I’m excited to play these great teams. We will really find out how well we can step up to challenge this weekend,” Gurnett said.

A loss for the Yellowjackets could spell the end of a bid to the national tournament. A win and some help from around the league could give the senior class a chance to reach the coveted national tournament.

Fitzsimmons can be reached at afitzsimmons@campustimes.org.



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