Women’s soccer falls short to St. Francis (Pa.) and Penn State

Doug Hendry

Contributing Writer

The women’s soccer team stood firm against St. Francis (Pa.) and one of the top forwards in the nation, but the Red Flash came from behind with two late goals to steal a 2-1 win at Emmitt Field on Sept. 7. In their following game against Penn State on Sept. 10, the Bison suffered another loss (6-0) on their home turf.

After a pair of tough road losses, the Bison returned home to face St. Francis. Both teams used aggressive formations with plenty of shots but failed to score during the first half. The Red Flash focused on short, simple passing while the Orange and Blue tried for quick counterattacks.

The Bison featured various outlooks on the field, as Head Coach Ben Landis used 19 different players.

“Our team has great team chemistry off the field, so when we play together and work for each other, we really can put it together,” Cassie Denger ’15 said. “Our team is about playing hard for the person next to you, no matter who it is.”

The speed and energy of the Bison subs helped counteract the experience of St. Francis, and Danielle Piccirilli ’16 put the Bison on the board first with a goal off the post with 25 minutes remaining in the second half.

The Orange and Blue faced 38 total shots, including 15 from Tesa McKibben, the NCAA Division I active leader in points scored. McKibben scored a late goal in regulation to tie the game, as well as the game-winner with one minute left in the second overtime period. The win for the Red Flash was their fourth straight against the Bison.

Looking forward, the Orange and Blue were hunting for a big upset in their toughest test yet against No. 13 Penn State. This Penn State squad made it to the national championship game the previous season.

“We have to set the tone early on our home field,” Denger said before the game. “We will play tough for each other and give everything we have.” 

Unfortunately, the Bison did not kick off to a great start. Penn State scored less than two minutes into the game and did not take its foot off the pedal. Despite the loss, 1,390 spectators turned out to watch the Bison, the largest audience the women’s soccer team has ever seen.

The Bison, now 2-4, will head to Towson today, looking to start another winning streak.

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