Five-goal home opener nets season’s first win

Photo by Briana Nicole Walton
Freshman midfield/forward Bailey Boyd keeps possession of the ball away from an opposing player at the Saturday, Sept. 16 home game. The Pioneers beat University of Pikeville 5-0 at Highmark Stadium.

Written By Allison Schubert, Copy Editor

After being shutout for the first three games of the regular season, the women’s soccer team tallied its first goals of the year against the University of Pikeville at Highmark Stadium on Saturday.

“We went into it like we would any other game,” sophomore captain Gabby Widman said. “The intensity had to be high throughout the entire game.”

Senior midfielder Izzy Hunter was able to break the scoring drought in the fifth minute, giving Point Park an early lead.

Katy Melhuish followed suit in the 37th minute after a pass from Noel Hartle to give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead at the half.

“We’ve spent the past three games defending a lot without a goal, so when we scored that first goal, a huge relief was off of us,” head coach Maggie Kuhn said. “The mindset for the second half was just to keep going. Not that we want to beat up on a team, but we needed to develop some confidence. It was nice to see us score a few goals.”

The Pioneers fed off the confidence-boosting first half, maintaining possession for a majority of the second half.

Bella Wilson was able to make a move around Pikeville’s goalkeeper for an open net goal in the 70th minute for Point Park’s third goal of the afternoon.

“Our team chemistry was working really well,” Widman said. “Everybody was on the same page. We took our high intensity training that we had throughout the week and we put it all out on the field.”

Shortly after Wilson’s goal, freshman Morgan French was substituted into the game to make her home debut.

In the 76th minute, French found herself scoring her first collegiate goal off a corner kick. Just six minutes later, in the 82nd minute, French scored yet again off a pass from Melhuish.

With just minutes left in the home opener, the Pioneers found themselves on the opposite end of the shutout with a 5-0 win.

“Winning yesterday was a huge confidence boost for us,” Widman said. “After we scored that first goal, you could see a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. When the first goal hit the back of the net, you could see the smiles on everyone’s faces. The confidence that we gained will definitely carry out throughout the rest of the season.”

The win at home gives the Pioneers a 1-3 record so far in the regular season and marked Kuhn’s 50th career win since her start at Point Park six seasons ago. Sophomore goalkeeper Ashtyn Webb also recorded her first career shutout with one save. Pikeville totaled three shots Saturday to Point Park’s 27.

“We still need to work on our shooting,” Hartle said. “We’ve always been a team with a great defense and that work hard but now we need to focus on our attack.”

The Pioneers play three more non-conference road games before opening River States Conference play on Sept. 28 at Asbury University.