The Shippensburg University women’s soccer team got its season started on the right foot with a 1-0 win in its home opener against Pitt-Johnstown University (UPJ) on Thursday afternoon.
It was an up-and-down game as both teams controlled the ball for a short period before turning it over to the opposing side.
SU played tough defense for the duration of the game as they got great starting debuts from freshmen Sydney Miller and sophomore Mackenzie Mitchell on the defensive end.
On the offensive end, they relied on last season’s leading scorer senior Izzy Weigel as she had a team-leading three shots in the game.
The only goal of the game came off the foot of Weigel as she found the back of the net with a nicely-placed assist from junior Casey Bell at 39:02 in the first period.
Weigel spoke about the feeling of notching that first goal of the season after the game
“It was great. It was a very exciting feeling especially this being my last season,” Weigel said. “I hope to lead the team in goals again, or if not, have someone right there with me.”
Junior goalkeeper Delaney Shifflett continued her stellar play from 2018 into the first game of this season as she blanked UPJ with six saves.
One save came with under a minute remaining in the match with the Mountain Cats threatening in close, as Shifflett stopped a close shot and fell on the ground.
SU coach Rob Fulton commented on the importance of getting that season opening win and how he assessed his team’s play.
“It’s definitely good always to get off to a good start and win the first one it builds a little confidence and a little momentum as you go forward,” Fulton said.
“I thought we did fairly well, there were some really good things and positive things we did, but there is definitely room for improvement and as we move forward hopefully we can get better from game to game,” Fulton continued.
In the second game on Saturday night against Frostburg State University, junior Kendall Mikkelson netted a last second header to give Shippensburg a 1-0 win.
SU pitched a shutout in back-to-back games for the first time since 2016. Shifflett was credited with two saves in the win.
The squad will be back in action on Wednesday at 1 p.m. at home against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East rival Shepherd University.