Women fall to Carlow 1-0 in close battle of defenses

Fall to 2-3-1 in River States Conference play

Written By Austin Alkire, Co-Sports Editor

The Pioneers had their backs against the walls. Already down 1-0 heading into the second half, the women’s soccer team was looking to even the score and set-up a chance at a third-straight victory, this time over rival Carlow.

Carlow had other plans. Just under two minutes into the half, Celtics’ defender Erin Thompson took a corner, putting the ball into the middle of the box.

Fellow Carlow defender Rachel Flory was exactly where she needed to be. She made contact with the ball, directing it towards the upper-right corner of the net, seemingly for a goal.

However, Pioneers’ freshman defender Josie Valeri was able to jump up and hit the ball with her head, knocking it back into play where senior goalkeeper Ashtyn Webb was able to save the rebound shot.

Valeri’s defensive effort was one of many that allowed Point Park to stay in the game and keep the score to a minimum. For a midfielder like senior Gabby Widman, this was important.

“I thought our defense played really well that game. The plays that were made gave us momentum at different points of the game,” Widman said. “Those bursts of momentum may have come too late, but they gave us opportunities more so in the second half.”

Those opportunities were needed in the second half after Carlow broke the ice in the first half.

Celtics’ defender Franki Berarducci was able to send her shot over the head of Webb to give Carlow the lead in the 37th minute.

Besides the lone goal, the Pioneers’ defense held strong throughout the whole game, shutting down the Celtics’ offense. Point Park was pressed heavily on defense in the first 45 minutes of the game.

“Compared to the other games, we came out on our toes in the first half and we were not able to turn it around and play our game until the second half,” senior Bailey Boyd said.

After Valeri’s standout play to start the second half, it was the Pioneers’ turn to pressure their rival.

Unfortunately for Point Park, the Celtics’ defense brought their A-game to Highmark Stadium.

“By that time, we were just unable to be dangerous in the final third and get good looks on goal,” Boyd said.

After 90 minutes, the game was finished, as so was the Pioneers’ winning streak.

The game was as close as the 1-0 score suggested, according to Point Park head coach Bethanie Moreschi.

“I think it was a very evenly matched game and therefore the score was low,” Moreschi said. “They had a great shot that lead to them winning. Both teams had chances and we were just unable to find the back of the net.”

The Pioneers will head on the road for two River States Conference (RSC) matchups against WVU Tech (4-2) and Rio Grande (3-3).