Women’s soccer splits RSC matches, hangs in third place

Women hope to remain the third seed for home field advantage in playoffs


Photo by Robert Berger

Freshman forward Tia Horew dribbles around a Carlow defender earlier this season. The Pioneers fell to Asbury University 2-0 Saturday afternoon.

Written By Rachael McKriger, Staff Writer

With the season dwindling down, the Point Park women’s soccer team is fighting for a high spot in the River States Conference (RSC) playoffs.

The team has clinched a playoff spot, currently holding on to third place. This past week, Point Park earned a conference victory and a conference loss, respectably, against Midway University and Asbury University.

During Thursday’s mid-week match against Midway, Point Park took an early lead after Midway gave up an own goal, three minutes into the game. Freshman midfielder Tia Horew scored two first-half goals to give Point Park a large lead.

In the second half, junior midfielder Gabby Widman slotted the game-winning goal past Midway goalkeeper Rebekah McKee. Widman said that scoring was a “boost of confidence” for her before facing rival Asbury.

Pioneers head coach Maggie Kuhn said that despite the 4-0 victory against Midway, she didn’t think her side played the best soccer.

“I didn’t think we played too well, but we still managed to get the win and not give up any goals,” Kuhn said. “I was happy in that regard. I just don’t think we possessed the ball very well. Midway didn’t put us under too much pressure. I thought that against a better team, they would have made it more difficult for us.”

Meanwhile, against Asbury, no Pioneer found the back of the net. Widman compared the level of intensity against Asbury to that of Carlow, a team Point Park fell to earlier this month.

“Every time we go and play Asbury, it’s a battle,” Widman said. “We knew it would be a physical game. I think we competed really well, even though the result didn’t show. We were switching the ball really well, but couldn’t capitalize in the final third. There was just a couple hiccups in our play that let us down.”

Senior defender Abby Magilocca, who was one of eight seniors recognized during the senior day festivities before the Asbury match, said that the Pioneers let nerves get the better of them.

“Against Midway, we were able to more of our style of game,” Magilocca said, referencing the difference between the two games. “We like to settle the ball and pass around. We didn’t do that as much against Asbury, because they’re a little bit more of a competitor. When we get nervous, we tend to kick the ball more than we settle it down to play.”

This week, Point Park has a crucial test against Indiana University East. After eight-straight matches on the road, the Pioneers will be traveling to Richmond, Indiana. Nearly a five-hour bus ride.

Magilocca and Widman both agreed that the match will be physical.

“If we can match that physicality, we’ll be okay,” Widman said. “We can’t let it get to us emotionally. If we can control that, other things like possession will help us in that aspect of the game.”

Should Point Park secure a victory on the road, they will have to sit back and wait to see what Indiana University East does against Carlow and Asbury. Indiana University East could surpass Point Park for the third spot with victories in all three matches.

However, should Point Park remain in third place, they will receive home-field advantage in the RSC playoffs.

“We all want to play at our field because we know that, rain or snow or sunshine, we know what type of game it’s going to be, since we played in those types of conditions before,” Magilocca explained. “We’ll have the fans too, behind us. That’s more of a incentive to win. It’s important to win, because those factors will help decide if we advance through the tournament.”

Meanwhile, the message from coach Kuhn is simple.

“Whatever seed we fall into, we just have to show up and play,” Kuhn said.