The strong defense of the women’s soccer team once again proved their talent on Tuesday afternoon. Getting ready for a challenging lineup in conference play, the women’s soccer team took an early lead against SUNY Oswego. Never letting their guard down, UR shut out the Lakers 3-0. This victory pushes the women’s record to 5-1-1 and ranks them at 16 in this week’s Division III poll.

“Last year we tied Oswego, and we knew they were capable of playing well,” head coach Terry Gurnett said. “They had a lot of tough games and reasons to come in and play us hard. We had an intense week of training.”

The Yellowjackets’ outstanding defense not only kept Oswego scoreless, but they also prevented the Lakers’ offense from taking any shots on the goal – the ladies outshot their opponents 11-0.

“I’d like to commend the four defenders for the amazing job they’ve done this season,” Gurnett said. “We want to compete for every 50-50 ball and win every second ball, and the defense played with energy through the whole game.”

Then there were the three goals that secured the win for the Yellowjackets. Junior Mary Walsh showed who was boss early, netting a pass from freshman Kelsey Turley less than nine minutes into the game. Midway through the first half, the Yellowjackets took true command with a joint-effort goal between senior Kate Possee and junior Emily Urbanczyk. Possee chased down a ball on the left wing, hitting Urbanczyk, who rushed in and tapped it into the goal at 26:08.

The Yellowjackets sealed the deal late in the second half with a goal by Turley and an assist by sophomore Amy Thompson at 79:51.

“Everyone was really excited to play,” Gurnett said. “When everyone’s on the same page and fired up to play, we can be very good.”

Coming off Tuesday’s fierce victory, the Yellowjackets now look to conference play beginning on Saturday afternoon.

“The intensity is ramped up with conference games,” Gurnett commented. “Every game is extremely important, and we are part of the most competitive conference for women’s soccer. There is no place for the weak-hearted.”

Despite their impressive record and remarkable Division III ranking, the Yellowjackets continue to look to improve. As conference play starts up, the team will continue to work on focusing on the next opponent and getting better.

“Our goal is to make it to the NCAA tournament and do damage from there,” Gurnett said.

There’s one thing in particular the Yellowjackets have going for them, though, and that’s the extraordinary leadership provided by the seniors of the team.

“Our seniors have been doing a superb job of mentally preparing our team,” Gurnett said. “I could not be happier with how hard they’ve worked.”

The Yellowjackets will have their first test of strength in conference play on Saturday against New York University at 3:30 p.m. in Fauver Stadium.

Philbrick can be reached at

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