NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Penn State Harrisburg's Women's Soccer team lost 6-0 to another tough conference opponent in Christopher Newport. Christina Martinez played well in her first start of the season filling in for center midfielder Hannah Jorich who was sitting out due to a one game red card suspension for denying a goal scoring opportunity with a handball in the penalty area during the Frostburg State match.
The Lady Lions defenders did a good job on the two leading scorers for Christopher Newport University (CNU), but unfortunately CNU had some other players step up and put the ball in the back of the net. The Lady Lions backline; especially Rachael Shetler, who was playing in a new position, Kara Hoy, Nicole Horst, Nicole Luttrell and Diandra Soto worked hard to hold a strong CNU team to three goals in the first half.
The Lady Lions settled into the game as the defense worked harder in the second half and they held Newport scoreless until the 74th minute when Kaitlyn Bly got past the Harrisburg defense and received a pass from Caitlyn Pabst and scored. The Captains added two goals late in the second half to complete the shutout.
Regardless of the score, Harrisburg goalkeeper Mackenzie Gates was spectacular in goal recording a season-high 15 saves.
Penn State Harrisburg had several scoring chances in the second half. Mae-Lyn Gonzalez had a terrific throw-in into the box and Dhruvika Rajora just missed a goal at the far post. The next opportunity was created after a long pass out of the back by Rachael Shetler that went right to the feet of Mercedes Copeland. She made a nice run with the ball from the midfield into the attacking third, but was thwarted by a Captains defender.
Assistant Coach Rudy Grubesky was filling in for Head Coach Adam Clay with help from Assistant Athletic Director Scott Duncan. According to Coach Grubesky, "Our ladies did a great job under a lot of pressure by an excellent Christopher Newport side. We made some adjustments at halftime and held them scoreless for about thirty minutes and then they were able to get a nice cross in and score their fourth goal. I thought our holding mids; Kristin Peckman and Danell Engle did a good job in the second half. We had one of our other midfielders, Tatiana Marroquin hurt in the warm-ups which didn't help with Hannah being out, too. Although we gave up three goals in the second half, two were very late in the match when I thought our team was exhausted from the heat and CN's constant attacks on our goal."
After getting a briefing and reviewing video from the match, Head Coach Adam Clay said, "We played well and I felt like the score did not reflect the true nature of the game. We battled with one of the best teams in the CAC."
The Lions will next be in action October 8th at Salisbury.