Selinsgrove, Pa. – The Penn State Harrisburg women's soccer team did not play their best soccer of the year Saturday September 5th against the Susquehanna Crusaders. Despite their tactical and technical ability not being at their best, the fight and effort the ladies gave in the final 45 minutes and two additional 10 minute overtime periods showed the true character of the team on way to an exciting 2-2 tie.
Susquehanna got on the board first in the 17th minute to take an early lead. The home team nearly doubled the score line with a penalty kick ten minutes later, but Harrisburg goalkeeper Sam Kutcher (Lititz, Pa. / Warwick) was up for the challenge deflecting the ball wide to be cleaned up by a charging Kylie Courtney (Honey Brook, Pa. / Twin Valley) to make sure the game remained in reach.
After a slow start to the first half, the Lions were relentless in the second. Leann Kazawic (Stanhope, N.J. / Sussex Tech) evened the score at one a piece just five minutes into the second half thanks to an Andrzelika Soltys (Elmwood Park, NJ / Memorial HS) playing a dangerous ball over the back line to a charging Kazawic. The Crusaders who created a multitude of shots throughout the game eventually found the net once more to take their second lead 2-1 with 28 minutes to play in regulation.
Courtney continued her impact on the Lion second goal as her first touch found Kristin Stark (Lancaster, Pa. / Donegal) who buried the ball for the freshmen's second goal of the season. Unfortunately, despite having an amazing game from start to finish, Harrisburg goalkeeper Kutcher would leave the game in the middle of the second half forcing Alexis Quinn (Warner Robing, Ga. / Milton Hersey) to step into the fiery game quite cold.
Fortunately for Harrisburg, Quinn was quite the opposite. Her play in the second half and both overtime periods were a huge part of the Blue and White coming home with a positive result. Also helping the task was the entire back line, including center back and Captain Morgan Gates who played all but one minute of the contest at an extremely high level for the visitors. She was assisted defensively by co-captain Kristen Peckman (Chambersburg, Pa. / James Buchanan), Eliza Grim (Millersburg, Pa. / Millersburgs HS), and Bridget Awantoh (Alexandria, Va. / Mount Vernon HS) who played in all 110 minutes of the contest.
"I was disappointed with some of our technique and tactics today, but even the opposing coach gave our team credit for the effort they gave today. I will continue to hold them to a very high standard on and off the field, but have to admit I left the field very proud of our team at the end of the match." Said Penn State Harrisburg head coach Adam Clay post game.
The Lions will rest up a few days before returning home to face Moravian on Wednesday September 9th for a 4:00 pm kickoff.