By Jared Prenda
The women’s soccer team kicked off its season with 3 straight wins to bring its record to a perfect 3-0. The team has shown dominance in its opening tilts, outscoring its opponents 13-3 over the three matches. The team began with a 2-0 win over York College (Pa.) in the team’s home opener at the Cardinal Athletic Center.
The first match was by far the most nerve-wracking of the three, as the Lady Cards scored twice in the twilight minutes of the game to secure their first win of the season. Sophomore midfielder Maggie Moorcones found the back of the net for CUA’s first goal of the season in the 84th minute. Moorcones connected on a one-time effort off of a cross from junior Liz Johnson. Grace Boras, a junior forward, provided the security goal by collecting a loose ball off a cross in front of the net less than two minutes later.
Despite the scoreboard, Catholics defense was the story of the game as the Spartans out shot Catholic 15-8. Sophomore Nina Fernandez anchored the team in net as she earned her first win in only her second start, making four saves. Defenders Daniella Montesano, Mackenzie Earley, and Taylor DeMello helped maintain the scoreless game by patrolling the backfield. Junior defender Reagan Sharkey showed particularly awareness by clearing the ball off the goal line to keep the game at 0-0 before CUA could take the lead.
The Cardinals had a much more impressive showing in their road matchup at DeSales on Sunday the 2nd. CUA would roll over the Bull Dogs 5-0 on a four-point day from team captain Johnson. She scored her first in the 30th minute to give the team a 1-0 lead that would stand until the half. The team scoring leader from last season would put another in the back of the net while assisting on 2 more in the second half. Boras also joined Johnson by netting two of her own later in the game, while classmate Gabby Demarest capped off the day for the Birds with her first goal of the season in the 88th minute.
The CUA side had an improved stat sheet as they would outshoot DeSales 16-10 and took 5 corners on the day. Fernandez shone once again in net, this time making 6 saves to keep her sheet clean.
The final tilt of the opening stretch took place on Wednesday, September 5th where the Lady Cards upped the ante once again by winning 6-0 when they hosted Hood College. The team showed even more improvement as it scored 2 of the 5 in the first half goals, doubling the amount in that period from prior two matches.
Johnson once again lead the team by potting the first goal of the match in the 6th minute after winning a ball off a defender and then beating the keeper. The Blazers proved to be an equal match however, when they score the 1-1 equalizer less than a minute later. Boras joined in on the scoring however, when she regained the advantage the team off an assist from Johnson in the 16th minute. Hood once again bounced back however scoring 2 unanswered to take a 3-2 lead at the half. Despite the score differential, CUA outplayed their opponents and took almost twice the amount of shots of Hood in the half.
Catholic came out firing in the second half however, when Johnson tallied her second assist on the day when teammate Bella Bertoncini collected the header and tied the game at 3 all in the 64th minute. Bertoncini scored her second of the day and of the season 2 minutes later to score the winning goal. Moorcones found the net as well on a rocket of a free kick to give her team insurance, while Johnson put the final nail in the coffin in the 88th minute with her second on the day.
The team is off to a promising start this season, with its star players contributing early. Johnson, who captains the squad, is already on pace to break her career high in goals scored (12), already netting 4 this season. Boras is also off to a strong start to her junior season as she is tied for the team lead in goals scored. Fernandez has also shown to be a promising prospect with a 3-0 record on the year and a 1.0 GAA. The team looks to continue its early success as it takes to the road this weekend to face Berry College on Saturday and Huntingdon College on Sunday.