On Sept. 3, the Millersville women’s soccer team headed into West Chester for a heavyweight confrontation with the defending champion Rams. The lady Marauders lost a close game 1-0.
This was a great measuring-stick-game for the Marauders as West Chester was a unanimous selection to capture another division crown. The Rams carried plays early on with a barrage of shots in the first 11 minutes of the game.
Senior goaltender Jamie Lancaster made three stops in that time. Millersville came back and at the 16:45 mark sophomore Stephanie Mellott smoked a shot off the post.
Bad luck cost the lady Marauders the first goal of the game. At 18:56 a corner kick sailed in front of the net, ricocheted off a Millersville defender into the net.
Lancaster had no chance on the play. That proved to be the only goal West Chester needed as the goal stood as the game winner.
The Rams attack came in waves and Millersville did a nice job staying within one goal. The final shot totals were the story with West Chester taking 13 shots and Millersville only taking five.
All was not lost in defeat because the Marauders proved they could hang with the cream of the crop.
Head Coach Michael O’Brien saw positives in the loss.
“I wouldn’t change anything about the game plan, O’Brien said. “If we play like that we can beat anyone.”
The seventh-ranked Rams are a great indicator of the type of talent that is at the top of division II soccer.
According to O’Brien, the key to beating West Chester in the future will be withstanding their attack.
“Their chances come in flurries, we have to withstand those and continue to challenge them. Team confidence builds from there,” O’Brien said.
Sept. 5 would be a test of the mental strength of the club.
Coming off of such a tough loss to a quality opponent like West Chester, it would have been easy for Millersville to have a let down performance.
This was far from the case as the Marauders took their frustrations out on a hapless Concord team in a 4-0 win.
Early on, the Lions were looking for an upset, hitting two goal posts and taking another shot that Jamie Lancaster was forced to stop. Millersville came right back down the field with three shots on goal.
After trading chances, it was Nicki Conzentino who started off the scoring. The junior finished off a beautiful cross by Olivia Taylor.
The onslaught continued but did not produce any goals as the first half ended with Millersville on top 1-0.
Freshman Kayla Hartley picked up her first Marauder goal as she took an Olivia Taylor pass, settled it down in the box and whistled it past the Concord keeper. Hartley’s early goal just 15 minutes into the half set the tone for a rout.
Senior Sarah Cameron made it 3-0 with a chip shot at the 76th minute. Hartley assisted on the third goal.
Six minutes later sophomore Kate Moeller put the final nail in the coffin, polishing off another Olivia Taylor cross. Taylor finished with three assists.
Over the weekend the Marauders will hit the road and head for West Virginia for games against Sheperd and Wheeling Jesuit. With lots of PSAC contests coming up, it is important for Millersville to keep focused on the task at hand.
“One of our top priorities is to make it to the PSAC playoffs, but by taking it one game at a time.” junior Nicki Conzentino said.
In the tough PSAC division Millersville will need to do just that to achieve its goal.