Women’s soccer notches first victory of the season

Contributed Photo: Sports Information
The women’s soccer team defeated Shippensburg last Saturday 1-0 as Liz Debo (above) scored the lone goal in the contest.
Snaps 8 match winless streak

By Tyler Trumbauer
Sports Editor/Spectator

The feeling of relief one gets after a weight is lifted off their shoulders is one of a kind.

It’s like that rush one gets when turning in a big paper that they’ve been working on for a while, or that feeling on a Friday afternoon after emerging from the last class of the day. It feels like one is on top of the world.

That is exactly how Liz Debo felt after booting her first goal of her senior season last week.

The 5-foot-5-inch forward corralled the ball off a blocked shot by teammate Ashley DeVito in front of Shippensburg’s goal and blasted it past the goal keeper for a goal in the 10th minute of last Saturday’s game against the Raiders of Shippensburg, which turned out to be the only goal of the contest as the Scots (1-4-1) took the 1-0 victory at Sox Harrison Stadium.

“It was great,” Debo said after the game.

“We were finally out of our slump and scoring that first goal meant a lot, especially since I am a senior now. So it’ll hopefully get us on a roll.”

The ladies were struggling to find the back of the net as they were scoreless in their last three matches heading into their contest with Ship (1-3-1). The Scots, who averaged nearly two goals per game in 2013, were in the midst of their worst start in program history and were also winless in their last eight matches, dating back to last season.

“We had many opportunities like that, but the ball just didn’t go in,” said head coach Gary Kagiavas.

“We spoke about it and we worked hard this week. We lost to West Chester and Millersville. To be honest, I don’t think we deserved to lose to either of them, but we did. The girls were upbeat. They knew that things were going to turn around pretty quickly for us.

“I can honestly tell you that the girls worked really, really hard this week to turn this around.”

That motivation showed in the first half as Edinboro controlled the ball most of the time and were playing deep into Shippensburg territory, leading to that early goal.

Not only was scoring something that was uncommon for the Fighting Scots recently, so was playing with a lead. Coming into the contest, Boro only had played a little over five minutes of game time possessing a lead.

That lead nearly evaporated midway through the first half, however, as Shippensburg’s Kat Harner’s shot crossed the goal from the left side and hit the top right corner of the goal post and rebounded back out into the field of play. Harner, along with several of her teammates, believed that was a goal, but the referees did not as they allowed play to continue.

Boro’s offensive dominance continued early in the second half before the Raiders began to even it out as the half wore on. Despite the late pushes by Shippensburg, they couldn’t mount any offensive attack as they only tallied four shorts in the final 45 minutes of play and 12 shots in the contest.

With such a deep hole the team dug itself into, Kagiavas said the ladies knew it was time to get down to business.

“I think the ladies knew it all along because they look at the standings and when you see them it is never good when you are second to last. We decided we weren’t going to talk about pressures, winning the PSACs [Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference] anymore. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we trained more upbeat because we thought there was so much pressure on us. We were more relaxed today.”

The Scots hit the road next as they visit University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on Sept. 27 and Clarion University on Oct. 3.

Tyler Trumbauer is the sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached by sports.spectator@gmail.com