Women’s Soccer secure first seed in RSC playoffs with 9-0-1 record

Shutout Oakland City, second place IU Kokomo to remain unbeaten in conference

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The women’s soccer team clinched the first seed in the River State Conference (RSC) playoffs this weekend, after defeating third-place Oakland City, 1-0, and overtaking Indiana University-Kokomo, 2-0, for first place in the conference.

The wins helped clinch an unbeaten season for the Pioneers in-conference, with a 9-0-1 record, with the draw being a 1-1 contest against IU-East. The wins help clinch home-field advantage for the rest of the playoffs, including a first-round bye. 

“We are all completely over the moon with our results from the regular season,” senior forward Holly Pascoe said. “Finishing top of our conference was always the goal from day one, and the girls worked far too hard this season to settle for anything less. We are thrilled with our results and excited to have the opportunity to host.”

Game one was a road trip to Oakland City, Indiana on Thursday, October 27, where the Pioneers took on the third place Mighty Oaks, who were hoping to rise in the standings. The match was a low offensive affair, with neither team being able to really break through each other’s defenses in a first half that saw a grand total of eight shots taken between the two teams, with Point Park in favor with five.

Pascoe would try to break the deadlock with three of the Pioneers’ five first half shots, but wasn’t able to find the back of the net.

Headed into the second half, it continued to be a closely contested affair, with only three shots taken by either side in a game of defense. It wouldn’t be until the final minutes of the contest, where Pascoe would be the hero with a shot past through traffic after the through pass from freshman defender Tatum Lucero, to put the Pioneers ahead in the 88th minute to help propel the team to victory, 1-0. 

Pascoe would lead the team with five in the game, landing four on net and getting the game winning goal. Point Park as a whole would take eight shots in the contest, efficiently having seven land on net, while keeping the Mighty Oaks to only six shots, and allowing only a singular shot to make it on goal. Junior goalkeeper Ella Serlin would make the singular save in yet another shutout. 

Game two was the biggest game of the year for both sides, as the Pioneers traveled to Kokomo, Indiana, to take on the Cougars to determine the first-place seed in the RSC. The win on Thursday had clinched a top two seed for the Pioneers, but a win over the Cougars would help them possibly clinch home-field advantage for the entire postseason. With the possibility of an unbeaten season on the line as well, the Pioneers came out with a fire to make sure they came away victorious.

In the 25th minute of the match, junior defender Athena Beck would be fouled on her way to the net, awarding her a penalty kick. Beck would give the Pioneers the early lead, beating the goalie on the left side to go ahead 1-0. Only two minutes later, the Pioneers’ offense would strike again, this time thanks to the foot of junior forward Channel Britten in the 27th minute, giving Point Park some insurance at 2-0. From there, the team was able to simply shut down the Cougars’ offense, coming away with the win and keeping their unbeaten conference season alive. 

In what was another closely contested affair, Point Park would outshoot the Cougars, 13 to 10, with the Pioneers taking 10 of their 13 in the first half and only allowing three shots as well in the second half. Nine of those shots would land on goal for Point Park, while only five would land for IU-Kokomo. Pascoe once again led the team in shots with four, with all of them landing on net. Serlin once again came away with the shutout, saving all five shots in the match, making for her fourth consecutive shutout to end the regular season. 

With the regular season now finished, the Pioneers will look to the playoffs as the number one seed in the RSC, where they will play the lowest seed to advance to the semifinals. The game is currently scheduled for Wednesday, November 9th, in what will be a home match-up at Highmark Stadium at 6 PM EST. If Point Park wins, they will play as the home team in the RSC finals on Saturday, November 12th, with the time to be determined. 

“Home-field advantage is always desired for any game, let alone playoffs. We have received so much support from friends, family, and fans watching our games while we are on the road,” said Pascoe. “It means a lot to us to play at home and offer them the opportunity to come down and actually be there with us. Home turf is familiar to us, and we have spent so many hours preparing and playing here at home, so we definitely feel the most comfortable with this advantage.”

The game will be live streamed on Point Park’s Athletics website, as well as information on who the next opponents will be when available.