By Jared Prenda
Pure dominance is the only way to describe Lady Cardinals Women’s Soccer team’s Wednesday night victory over in conference rival Goucher. The CUA team advanced their record to 8-5 overall and 2-2 in Landmark play following the 8-2 win over the Gophers.
The win was a complete team effort, with 6 different players finding the back of the net and each goal was accompanied by an assist. The team was lead by the efforts of sophomore Elizabeth Johnson, who earned her first career hat trick during the October 11th matchup. She was joined by classmate Daniella Montesano who recorded 3 assists for the Birds.
Catholic wasted no time in the match to get on the scoreboard, with Johnson’s first goal coming only 11 minutes in. The play was initiated by the Cardinals’ defense who forced a turnover and moved the ball upfield to junior Jillian Sudo. Sudo proceeded to take the ball down the right side until she placed it in the center of the box for Johnson to tap in for the opening score. Only 4 minutes later Johnson struck again, this time off Montesano’s first assist on a 40-yard pass directly to the foot of Johnson.
The Cards found the back of the net shortly later when Montesano fed freshman forward Meghan Corso on a through ball. Corso wasn’t finished however, as she earned an assist of her own on a a perfectly placed corner kick to senior Riley Hawblitzel for a header to secure a 4-0 lead in the final three minutes of the first half.
The CUA team is primarily composed of underclassmen, but that does not phase the team.
“This year the freshman class has been a strong added asset,” said Johnson, a sophomore forward. “The sophomore class is a united force; together we are able to connect well on the field. I am extremely excited to see our young members continue to grow and contribute to all of our future success.”
The Birds would not score again, however, until the 71st minute in the second half when sophomore Gabby Demarest chipped a cross to Sudo who buried her second of the game right next to the left post. Johnson netted her third and final goal only 39 seconds later when she connected with Montesano once again. Catholic scored 6 unanswered goals before Goucher finally responded in the 78th minute when they snuck one past the CUA defense on a corner kick.
The Gopher goal did little to stifle the Cardinal’s offense, for on the following kickoff freshman Bridget Buckley took the ball all the way down the field before crossing it to classmate Maggie Marcoones to advance the Cardinals lead to 7-1. Buckley also potted the CUA team’s final goal when sophomore Bella Bertoncini fed her the ball in the closing minutes for the final score of 8-2.
Senior Ally Marcello earned her fourth win of the season in net for Cards before being relieved by freshman Nina Fernandez for her first career appearance for the team. The netminders were aided heavily by the CUA defense, who held the Gophers to 0 shots in the first half, and outshot them 30-4 overall in the game.
The Birds will stay at CUA Soccer Field for their next game when they face Moravian College on Saturday, October 14th at 12:30 PM. The Greyhounds are 8-3-1 on the year, but have suffered all three losses on the road.
“Getting a good win over Goucher definitely helps with our overall team confidence for the weekend,” said Hawblitzel, senior defender and team co-captain. “It really helped us put all the pieces together. All over the field we were connecting passes and keeping really high pressure which is essential for when we play a team like Moravian.”