The Shippensburg University women’s soccer team dropped two games this past week as the offense struggled against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) rivals East Stroudsburg University and Seton Hill University.
It has been a tough season thus far for the SU offense, and its struggles continued this past week in two games that both had implications in the standings. On Wednesday, the Raiders were shutout 1–0 by East Stroudsburg (7–2–1, 7–1–1 PSAC).
The team was dominated, as evident by the difference in both shots and shots on goal. East Stroudsburg outshot SU 19–6, including outshooting the Raiders 7–1 in shots on goal.
The Warriors got all they needed in the 49th minute when Alex Pickett tallied her first goal of the season on a goalie giveaway. One of the only mistakes made by sophomore goalkeeper Delaney Shifflett wound up costing the Raiders the game.
The SU offense has been struggling since the first two games of the season, when they scored three and four goals, respectively, in two wins to begin the season.
Since then, the team has averaged one goal per game and has been shutout three times. Over that seven-game stretch, the Raiders have gone 3–3–1, and are currently in the midst of a three game losing streak.
Shifflett had a good game against East Stroudsburg, totaling six saves while allowing the one goal on the bad play that resulted in a turnover. Despite her efforts in goal, she was stuck with the loss due to the offense’s struggles to put goals on the board.
Shifflett has made significant strides this season after putting together an inconsistent freshman season. She currently owns a 1.10 goals against average and has a .877 save percentage.
Shifflett is second in the PSAC in saves per game with 7.89. She has not been put in an easy position so far this season, with the defense struggling and at times resulting in the opponent pounding shots on goal.
SU is second in the PSAC in saves overall with 72. The Raiders are going to need to rebound quickly if they are to save their season, and that will involve getting some improved play in front of Shifflett.
The defense’s struggles in containing a high-powered offense continued on Saturday against Seton Hill (8–2, 7–2 PSAC) when they lost 2-1 in overtime. The SU offense improved its play from Wednesday’s loss to East Stroudsburg, but it still was not enough to get past one of the PSAC’s best teams this season.
The scoring began in the 67th minute when Italia Biondi of Seton Hill got one past Shifflett for her eighth goal of the year. The Raiders returned fire and tied the game up just a few minutes later on a free kick shot from Kelsy Fitzgerald, her first goal of the season.
The home crowd began to get into the game for the stretch run. Both teams exchanged opportunities, but the game resulted in overtime to decide the winner. With just more than four minutes passed in the overtime period, Seton Hill ended it with a goal from Madison Schwerzler.
Seton Hill capitalized on the struggles of the SU defense to almost double the shots on goal during the game. The Griffins outshot the Raiders 29–15 and 15–8 in shots on goal. Shifflett did all that she could in an attempt to pull out the win, making 13 saves and allowing two goals. She has now made double digit saves in three of the past four games for the Raiders.
The Raiders are on a three-game losing streak and will need to quickly turn it around during their games this week against PSAC competition.
The Raiders currently sit in ninth place in the PSAC, just two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference.
Next, they take on fifth-place Bloomsburg University (6-2-1, 6-2-1 PSAC) on Wednesday at home. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. from David See Field.