The UR women’s soccer game against the Union College Dutchwomen this past Saturday started out with a bang. Actually, the phrase would be ‘started out with a shot.” The ‘Jackets came out strong, scoring two goals within the first nine minutes of play. Right off the initial kickoff, sophomore forward Bridgette Varin got the ball and put it perfectly onto the foot of senior midfielder Laura Bojko. Four yards out from the goal, Bojko slid the ball into the net for the first Yellowjacket goal.

Just a few minutes later, the Yellowjackets showed their skill again when freshman forward Ellen Coleman scored the second goal off a corner kick. Union goalkeeper Abby Stohler knocked down the initial shot, but the rebound landed right in front of Coleman, who solidly put the ball into the right side of the net. This initial surge of power from the Yellowjackets quickly showed the Dutchwomen what they were up against, and UR continued to put pressure on the Union team until the very end.

The main focus of the game, however, was the show of cooperation and teamwork by the Yellowjackets. No matter how tired or how flustered any one person was, the team remained rock solid. It started in the backfield, where sophomore goalkeeper Celeste Hornbach put up a fight with two saves. Union only had five shots, due in large part to UR’s stifling defense each of the Dutchwomen’s shot attempts was snuffed by UR defenders. In particular, sophomore defender Meaghan Magee and junior defender Eileen Boylan were powerhouses in the backfield with their strong clears, and their quickness enabled them to steal the ball from Union’s offense and send it up to the midfielders and offensive line.

Offensively, UR was at a constant war with Union’s middies and defenders. The ball seemed to have an affinity for the Union half of the field. The Yellowjackets took 17 shots and forced 11 corner kicks.

Union applied more pressure in the second half. Every chance they could, the Dutchwomen struggled in an attempt to get into shooting range. The voice of at least one of their coaches was always audible, and the bench got fired up with every Union touch to the ball. Unfortunately for Union, each Dutchwoman possession was in vain. A Yellowjacket miscommunication nearly led to a Union goal just about 15 minutes into the second half, but Union’s Jessica Strang missed the shot.

The Union team played hard, but not hard enough, and, overall, the Yellowjackets outshone the Dutchwomen, who were ranked 11th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll leading up to Saturday’s game. For UR, teamwork, persistence and good communication led it to its third-straight win. The end score, 2-0, was reached in the first nine minutes but was maintained until the final buzzer.
The ‘Jackets resume play today against William Smith College at 4:30 p.m. in Fauver Stadium. UR is 3-1-1.

Rogers is a member of the class of 2012.

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