Just in time: Women’s soccer team gears up for conference play – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

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I don’t know what women’s soccer team I watched defeat Geneva College 4-0 last Wednesday at Highmark Stadium, but it couldn’t have been the Point Park Pioneers that went winless through its first six games.

It couldn’t have been the Point Park Pioneers team that lost its first three games at home where they were outscored 10-2.

It couldn’t have been the Point Park Pioneers that scored all of three goals in six games.

Well it sure didn’t look like that Point Park Pioneers team, but it sure was the same team.

This is a team that needed a flat-out dominating performance. Point Park struggled offensively through its first six contests against tough non-conference opponents, tallying those three goals from three separate players en route to a 0-5-1 start.

Three players struck for a total of four goals against Geneva last Wednesday, a team that was strong on paper and entered the game with a 3-2 record.

I said on the Point Park Sports Network broadcast early in the first half that I thought it was the best the Pioneers looked all season. They continued to back up my statement throughout the game and simply shut Geneva down.

It was about time.

Geneva had no answers for Point Park. The Pioneers defense was Kevlar-like, allowing only four shots on goal in the 90 minutes of play. Freshman Rebecca Cohen tossed a shutout in her Point Park debut in net.

The Pioneers offense completed seamless passes and got off solid shots against the Golden Tornadoes, things it struggled with against Walsh University just five days prior.

Point Park out-shot Geneva 26-6 with 12 different players taking shots. Izzy Hunter scored the first and fourth goals of the night for the Pioneers with Chloe Hampy and Lauren Bower adding goals in between. Point Park now has 6 players with goals on the season after beginning the week with just three.

This Point Park team was a squad that looked complete and, more importantly, had fun.

If you can’t go to a soccer game, or any Point Park sporting event for that matter, at least go to the Point Café afterwards. It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll see at least one of the players from whatever game just ended either standing in line for food or sitting in a booth.

I’ve been in the café postgame for many wins and losses from many different teams. You can usually tell what the outcome was that night if you pay close enough attention to the athletes.

Several members of the women’s soccer team gathered at the Point Café after last Wednesday’s win. Yes, you could tell what the outcome was.

Geneva didn’t play its best game, but it isn’t a bad team, either. Everything just clicked for Point Park in the 4-0 win. That’s the team we want to see this week and into October.

The team that connected its passes, played a solid defensive game, won the 50/50 balls and had fun in the process is the team we want to see this week and into October.

The scoring drought is over. It was a much-needed performance that came just in time.

Now, it’s time for conference play.

Point Park begins River States Conference (RSC) play Thursday when it hosts Asbury (Ky.) at 6 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. The Pioneers then host Cincinnati Christian Saturday at 11 a.m. The men’s soccer team will play the same teams following the conclusion of both games this weekend.

After a 1-1 tie with St. Vincent in double overtime Saturday, Point Park enters the week with a 1-5-2 record.

That’s irrelevant.

Their record is 0-0 in games that matter. Their tough conference schedule has prepared them for play against RSC teams. They know where they stand and they know what they have to work on to repeat as conference champions.

They know what they can do.

Now they just have to do it.

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