Women's Soccer Opens Season With Convincing 5-0 Win
READING, Pa. - The Stevenson University women's soccer team got off to a flying start in its season opener Saturday afternoon, scoring the game-winning goal in the ninth minute en route to a 5-0 victory over Shenandoah in the Crusader Cup being held at Alvernia.
The Mustangs (1-0) totaled 35 shots, including 23 in the second half, compared to just three for Shenandoah.
The Hornets (0-1) suffered their first loss despite the strong play of keeper Kat Terza who made 19 saves while allowing just two goals in 57 minutes.
Senior Tonia Cristino (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) scored the game's first goal on a shot that sneaked by the keeper to the far post. From there, the Mustangs stayed in control and continued to dominate the midfield.
A great combination play between freshman Samantha Novy (Severna Park/Severna Park) and freshman Stephanie Eyler (Thurmont/Catoctin) led to Novy picking up her first career goal in the 26th minute to give Stevenson a 2-0 lead.
The Mustangs took a 3-0 halftime lead when sophomore Jess Celmer (Baltimore/Carmel) netted her second career goal, scoring off a corner kick in the 33rd minute.
Freshman keeper Brittany Ross (Millersville/Severna Park) recorded a shutout in the first half, recording one save before giving way to junior Michelle McConnell (Pylesville/North Harford) for the final 45 minutes. McConnell also made one save while not allowing a goal as the duo earned a combined shutout.
In the second half, the Mustangs did not pick up their first goal until the 81st minute thanks to the play of Terza who recorded 15 of her 19 stops in the half, including an amazing stop in the 67th minute that saw her lay out five feet to redirect what would have been a sure goal off an Eyler header.
Stevenson finally connected for its last two goals in the 81st and 87th minute. A long free-kick from junior Meghan Smith (Kent Island/Kent Island) reached sophomore Heather Redding (Street/North Harford) on a breakaway who ran through before laying the ball off for Eyler to slide into the empty net for her first career goal as a Mustang.
The last goal was also scored by a freshman as Rhea Sarioglou (Perry Hall/Perry Hall) scored off an assist from junior Katie Decker (White Hall/Hereford).
With the win, Stevenson will face host Alvernia in the championship game Sunday at 2:00 pm.