Women’s soccer finish regular season with back to back draws, clinch 4th playoff spot

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Photo by Mason Strawn

Coach John Newbery talks to his players before their matchup against Indiana University East.

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The women’s soccer team ended their regular season in a rather odd way, finishing up play with a 0-0 tie against Indiana University East on Thursday, Oct. 28, and a 1-1 tie on Saturday, Oct. 30 against St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. Both teams were River State Conference (RSC) rivals, and the two draws ended the Pioneers regular season with a record of 7-7-3 and an RSC record of 6-2-3. The record is good enough for fourth in the standings, and guarantee’s Point Park a home playoff match, though the opponent is yet to be determined.

“We know that we’re more than capable of doing good throughout the playoffs,” freshman forward TaMaya Wolford said. “I have no doubt that we’re going to go out there and play some of our best soccer in these next couple games.”

The Pioneers started off their week with a home match up against the IU East Red Wolves for senior night at Highmark Stadium. Forward Nola McGuire and middles Brooke Doran and Kelsee McHugh were all honored before the game started.

The match was a very slow defensive showing by both teams, with Point Park having possession on their own side of the pitch for most of the first half. Neither team would be able to generate much offense until the second half, where Point Park was able to drive the ball up field more often and with more danger on each drive. With that being said, neither team was able to net that elusive go-ahead goal, with overtime and double overtime to follow.

Point Park’s final opportunity came in the waning seconds of the final overtime, with the Pioneers in the final 15 seconds getting the ball driven down the right side before making a cross into the box. The ball arrived at the foot of the goal, with McGuire getting her foot on it but just going wide of the goal post to keep the game scoreless and letting the final seconds run off.
Point Park would outshoot the Red Wolves, taking 12 shots and landing six on net, in comparison to IU East’s 10 shots and five on net. Eight of Point Park’s 12 shots were taken in the second half, and half of the Red Wolves shots came during the same time. Wolford led the team in shots with four, landing two on net, while sophomore goalkeeper Ella Serlin got the shutout after saving all five of the shots she faced.

Game two was another home match up, this time at Montour Junction Sports Complex in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The game started off with a lead for the Pomeroys, scoring a goal in the 10th minute to put the Pioneers down early 1-0. SMWC tried to extend their lead with an aggressive attack late in the first half but wasn’t able to find it as Point Park kept the game in arm’s reach. It wouldn’t be until the 58th minute in the second half before the Pioneers found the back of the net, with a goal off the foot of freshman forward Madison Spencer that was assisted by Wolford.

Point Park would bring the pressure after their first goal, keeping the Pomeroys from getting a shot off for the rest of the half and peppering the SMWC net late in the half. The Pioneers weren’t able to find the go-ahead goal, though, and overtime and second overtime came again. Point Park continued to mount pressure but weren’t able to get one through, ending the match for their second draw in a row.

The Pioneers heavily outshot the Pomeroys, firing 17 shots and landing eight in comparison to the visitor’s seven shots and four making it on goal. Sophomore forward Jaylin Hunt and Athena Beck led the Pioneers in shots with four a piece, with Spencer leading the team in shots on net as well as having the lone goal. Serlin would get the start once again and come up with three saves enroute to the draw.

With the Pioneer officially clinching a playoff spot, the team will start the first round of the RSC playoffs at home on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. The game will take place at the Montour Junction Sports Complex, with Indiana University Kokomo as the opponent.

“We’re just going to take it game by game and see what mistakes we need to correct to come better and stronger,” Wolford said.

Like previous matches, the game will be streamable through the Point Park Athletics website.