St. A’s women’s soccer keeps the ball rolling

Devin Bergeron, Sports Editor

Saint A’s women’s soccer kept the ball rolling Saturday, blanking out Le Moyne 3-0, en route to their third win in a row. The team, after a rocky start, now sits .500 for the first time since early September.

Heading to central New York on Saturday the squad was fresh off the heels of a 3-2 home win against Assumption. Junior midfielder Caly Farina continued her breakout season against the Greyhounds picking up two goals, including the game-winner. Her sixth and seventh goals respectively, Farina leads the team in goals, points, and shots in what has been nothing short of an MVP-esque year for the young star.

A date with conference-foe Le Moyne seemed like the perfect test for the Hawks, trying to get back to level ground at 5-5. How would the team respond to the raised stakes? With their best game of the season to this point.

Just over a minute into play, freshmen defender Liz Shalevitz capitalized on a Le Moyne turnover, netting home a shot 30 yards out for her first goal as a Hawk. At the 26:50 mark, senior forward Corey Murray got her third goal of the season, bouncing in a shot off a pass from sophomore defender Erin Paquette. Murray’s goal gives her 42 points in her tenure at Saint A’s, moving her up to 11th all time in that category.

Carrying their two-goal advantage into the second half, the Hawks would strike yet again when a shot from freshmen midfielder Regan Pratt hit off a Le Moyne defender for an own goal to put the Hawks up 3-0, their biggest lead of the season. The team held on for the win, collecting not only their biggest win of the season, but breaking through for their largest winning streak at three.

Sophomore goalie Payton Wildrick’s work in net was good for two saves, and her fifth win of the season. Making her first collegiate appearance backup goalie Mackenzie O’Neill collected two saves in relief of Wildrick and preserved the shutout victory.

For the first time this season, all five of Saint A’s shots were on goal Saturday, marking an uptake in precision that certainly helped fuel the 3-0 NE10 victory.

The early lead for the Hawks seemed to be the difference maker in this one, as the team moves to 5-1 when scoring the first goal. Head coach Joel Bancroft echoed this thought after the game: “Getting on the board early was a great way to start. We did a nice job of working through our tactical adjustments early with the composure needed to be successful.” After being unable to eclipse two goals for the first seven sets of the season, the team has put up three goals in three straight and remains unbeaten in the month of October. The manner in which the team has flipped the switch seems to be a source of pride for Bancroft, concluding: “Today’s result was another positive step forward for this group… I’m really proud of this group and how they continue to evolve…”

The team now rests 5-5 for the year with a 5-3 conference record. Riding their midseason surge, they head to Saint Mike’s Wednesday looking to continue to ascend through the NE10 rankings.