Early goals prove beneficial for SU
The Shippensburg University women’s soccer team scored three first-half goals en route to its 4–0 victory over the University Pittsburgh at Johnstown Friday afternoon.
The scoring began when Kate Zech found the back of the net just 18 minutes into the start of the match.
“We really wanted to come out today and be a first half team. We are usually a second half team,” Zech said. “In the first half we wanted to come out strong and come out hard.”
The Raiders indeed started the game strong.
Rachel Hess followed Zech’s goal when she finished off a well-placed pass from Brooke Clippinger. The goal was Hess’ first of the season.
Brianna Brancato followed Hess with the Raiders’ third goal in the first half. Brancato found the back of the net after Danielle Nauman led her with an excellent pass.
In the second half, the Raiders slowed the pace of the game and allowed reserve players to get in-game action.
SU’s fourth and final goal came when a pass deflected off a UPJ defender and trickled into the net.
Throughout the course of Friday’s game, the Raiders set a season record with 36 total shots, 18 of which were on goal.
SU’s Ashley Vellucci led the Raiders with eight total shots, four of which were on goal.
The Raider defense matched their explosive offensive outing.
The entire first half was an easy one for SU goalie Shelby Rackley. The Raider defense shut down the Mountain Cat offensive, not allowing a single shot on goal.
Rackley saw just one shot in the second half, which she saved.
“Defensively our team is awesome. Every time you get a shutout you have a chance to knock a team down and get closer to the playoffs,” Rackley said.
Playoffs are in the Raiders headlights right now. SU currently sits in third place in the PSAC standings and was ranked No. 2 in the first round of the Division II regional pole that was released on Oct. 23.
“It’s going to come down to everyone’s intensity at practice and their motivation to keep going. We need to start games with the intensity we end with,” Rackley said.
The Raiders will need to keep their intensity level high as they take on a tough Seton Hill University team Saturday afternoon at Robb Sports Complex— game time is slated for 3:30 p.m.