Close loss cuts postseason chances

In the Women’s Soccer PSAC Quarterfinals, the Golden Bears took on host school Edinboro University in another heated battle between close competitors. KU (11-6-2) had a previous meeting with Edinboro (13-3-2) that ended in a 3-2 overtime loss for the Golden Bears. Unfortunately for the KU women’s soccer team, this game would also end in defeat.
Though KU still has an opportunity to be selected to the Super Regional tournament, the Edinboro game could potentially be the last of the season. KU has a winning record and a decent chance to be selected as a bid team being ranked 24th in the Division II women’s soccer league.
Hope is still alive, but a win against Edinboro would have improved KU’s chances of entering the NCAA tournament. Edinboro defeated KU 2-1 in a game that looked doomed from the beginning. However, the Golden Bears persevered through a two-goal deficit to eventually have an opportunity to take the game for their own with three minutes left.
Simply stated, KU was flat in the first half. Multiple missed opportunities on the offense really made things hard for the Golden Bears. Six shots were taken from KU and only three were required saves from the opposing goalie.
Edinboro, on the other hand, was flawless in the first half. Constant pressure on KU’s junior goalie Alina Rakiewicz made things difficult. Edinboro scored two goals in the game, the first coming in the 12th minute of the game. Sophomore Allyson Overly scored from a corner kick that was nicely placed by senior Kelsey Knoll. The next goal came in the 26th minute of play by Edinboro’s freshman Jansen Hartmann, Hartmann’s fifth goal of the season. Senior Jenna Madison was there for the assist. Edinboro out-shot KU 7-6 at the end of the first half.
KU quickly forgot about the first half and treated the second half like a whole different game. KU’s defense was as stingy as ever, allowing just two shots the entire second half. Rackiewicz had only one save because of KU’s blanketing defense.
The offense was sparked from concrete defense; KU out-shot Edinboro 8-2 in the second half. The Golden Bears scored their first goal of the game in the 70th minute of the match. Sophomore Hanna Fenstermacher was clutch with a 15-foot shot to the lower left corner of the net.
As time dwindled down, hopes of advancing to the playoffs were diminishing as well. Constant pressure was on Edinboro’s sophomore goalie Meghan Kelly. With three minutes left, freshman Diana Malanga placed a brilliant header that seemed destined for a goal. Kelly stopped the ball just before it crossed the plain; she saved the goal, the game and seven additional shots.
Despite the loss, the team is proud of the way they competed. No heads hung low afterwards, but an even stronger desire to win has built up. If the Golden Bears are not invited to compete in the PSAC Championships, they will surely be in contention for a position next year. With only two losses to the starting line-up, KU has a bright future in women’s soccer.

By Gregory Tate

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