Women’s soccer ride back to back wins to 7-7-1

Officially clinches fourth seed or higher in River State Conference

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The women’s soccer team came out with a vengeance this week, coming up with two big River State Conference (RSC) match up wins against Ohio Christian University, 3-1, and Midway University, 5-0. The wins now raise the Pioneers up to 7-7-1 on the season, and they have an in-conference record of 6-2-1. The back-to-back wins now also allow Point Park a chance at the fourth through second seed in the RSC standings. Point Park, who previously had been 0-3-1 on the road this season, made sure to come up clutch when they needed to this year, and with only a week left to their season, the Pioneers are lined up for a playoff spot this season.

The Pioneers started off with a strong win against the OCU Trailblazers on Tuesday, Oct. 19, in Circleville, Ohio. The first half was a scoreless start, with Point Park having a magnitude of offense but not being able to capitalize. The scoring didn’t start until half way through the second half, with the first goal of the game coming off a header from freshman middle Madison Zerbe in the 62nd minute, which was assisted by senior middle Brooke Doran. Sophomore Athena Beck would put in the go ahead goal in the 72nd, before the Trailblazers came back with their own goal eight seconds later to set the score at 2-1. Beck would put the game away with yet another goal in the 83nd minute, this time a penalty kick, putting the Pioneers up 3-1.

The Pioneers put on a defensive clinic against OCU, keeping the Trailblazers to only three shots, with only two landing on net, while putting up their own 17 shots, landing 11 on net. Beck would lead the team in shots with six, landing four on net and scoring two, all of which lead both teams in. Freshman goalkeeper Gillian Bierhals led the way for Point Park in net, saving one of the two shots that were taken on her in her first game back in net since mid-September, when she last started against Madonna University.

Game two was a blowout of the Midway University Eagles, with Point Park coming out with a 5-0 victory on the road on Saturday, Oct. 23, in Midway, Kentucky. Freshman forward TaMaya Wolford put on a show during the first half, starting off the game with a goal in the 26th minute to open up the scoring against the eagles. Only two minutes later in the 28th, Wolford would score again, this time thanks to an assist from senior forward Nola McGuire. Another two minutes would pass, and yet another goal would be scored by Wolford, her third in the first 30 minutes of the game to put the Pioneers out to commanding 3-0 lead. McGuire would join in on the action with her own goal in the 36th minute, one that would be assisted by freshman forward Alexandria Jackson. The second half wouldn’t be as goal crazy as the first, but it didn’t stop the Pioneers from tacking on another goal in the 78th minute, thanks to a rebound from Mcguire that was put in by Zerbe to put the final score at 5-0 and end their road trip.

Point Park showed an incredibly efficient performance on the pitch, taking 15 shots while landing 11 on net. The Eagles would take 8 shots but would only be able to put on a minimal 3 shots on net in the matchup. Sophomore Goalkeeper Ella Serlin started the game, playing 73 of the 90 minutes and only needed to make one save in the game, before Bierhals came in for the final 17 minutes and made the final two saves to keep the shut out alive.

“We knew that these last two teams we competed against were crucial to our conference play,” Bierhals said. “Knowing that, we stepped up because we all have the same goal: to be the best that we can and make it as far in our conference and playoffs as possible.”

The Pioneers only have one week of play left to their regular season and will look to try and capitalize on their final two games to try and rise up the standings as the playoffs draw near. Starting off their final two games will be a homestand against RSC rival Indiana University East, a team only half a game ahead of them in the standings, on Thursday, Oct. 28, at Highmark Stadium at 6 p.m. Thursday’s game will also be senior night, recognizing the four seniors that are on this year’s team.

Their final game of the season will be another in-conference matchup against St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. Their match will be played at Montour Junction Sports Complex in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.

“We just have to acknowledge the upcoming challenge, but [we] can’t stress over it to the point where we don’t perform as well as we should,” Bierhals said.

The final two games of the season will both be streamable through the Point Park Athletics website.