Conquering the Mount
The Tigers (2-2) captured their second home victory of the season against the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (1-3) 4-1 Sunday afternoon at the Tiger Soccer Complex after an upsetting loss Friday night against the Radford Highlanders (1-0-1) 2-1.
In the first half of Sunday’s game the Tigers wasted no time putting up a goal against the Mountaineers. In the 17th minute junior forward Sofia Read shot from about 20 yards out into the lower right corner of the net, giving the Tigers their first goal.
The Tigers continued to pressure throughout the half and not long after, senior forward Emily Banes cut around Mountaineer goalkeeper Rachel Bourne, putting the ball in the lower left and giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Coming into the second half, the Tigers remained the leaders of the game. In the 58th minute junior forward Rhianna Zalewski hit a quick touch to junior midfielder Katlyn Axenfeld who, without hesitation, ripped the ball into the right side of the net, adding another goal to the Tigers score.
“Rhianna did a great job and used her space very well,” Head Coach Greg Paynter said. “She was able to make good contributions when she got it and she really came through big for us.”
The Mountaineers struggled to score until the 66th minute after a penalty kick was issued.
Alicia Mirando hit the ball in the upper corner of the net passing Tiger goalkeeper, junior Erin Quinn, and giving the Mountaineers their first goal of the game.
“We fell asleep a little bit and they made a run out of us,” Paynter said. “Fortunately we responded very well after.”
Up 3-1 and with 10 minutes left, Read sent a cross from the right corner where Banes finished off the game with a diving header in the 18-yard box, solidifying the Tigers’ win.
“We worked so hard the other night and we didn’t get the result on the road and to come home and get this opportunity was great,” Paynter said. “It feels nice and rewarding.”
Unfortunately, the Tigers were unable to pull out a win in Friday night’s game.
“It was definitely a tough game,” Paynter said. “Radford put a lot of pressure on us and we defended really well.”
Just 4:56 into the game, Banes was able to grab a hold of a lose ball and kick it past Highlanders keeper Che’Brown, giving the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
Banes’ goal broke the Highlanders streak of 583:57 without allowing an opponent to score against them.
“[Banes] is doing a great job,” Paynter said. “She’s getting herself into a dangerous position and were going to continue to get her into these situations.”
The Tigers continued to hold onto their 1-0 lead until late in the game when the Highlanders were awarded two penalty kicks.
The first kick was in the 78th minute by Rachel Conway after a foul in the 18-yard box. The shot was low in the corner, tying the game up 1-1.
Conway scored a second goal for the Highlanders in the 87th minute on another penalty kick, putting them ahead 2-1.
“Penalty kicks are just part of the game,” Paynter said. “They were just fouls in dangerous areas and it’s a part of the game you have to play with.”
The Tigers return to the field on Saturday, Sept. 6 at the Navy Invitational against St. Bonaventure. Kick-off is at 3 p.m.