Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor
The Pirates’ women’s soccer team will try and notch their first home win on Monday when they take on Columbia to kick off a two-game home stand.
The Pirates (2-4-1) will once again go with sophomore Illissa Blackshear in goal, who has started every game after entering an Aug. 29 game at Rutgers in the second half, replacing junior Gina Maiorana. Head coach Rick Stainton said the net will remain Blackshear’s until she loses it.
In her last four outings, Blackshear has only allowed four goals, and added two shutouts including the team’s last match versus Army. The other came on Sept. 8, in a draw match at Princeton.
Friday’s 1-0 victory in double overtime saw the blue and white get the deciding tally off a goal from freshmen Jackie Saint John. The goal by the midfielder from Ridgefield, N.J., was her first of her college career.
Blackshear’s 104-minute shut out saw her stop four shots en route to her first shutout and win as a Pirate. Meanwhile, the Hall pestered the Black Knights with 17 shots and 8 shots coming on net. Army had four shots reach net, while 13 shots were attempted, but did not reach net thanks in large part to the defense that has been continuously praised by coach Stainton.
“That’s the one area in the field we have a lot of depth at,” Stainton said. ““We have a lot of versatility back there. They all know and understand that, that’s our strength.”
The defense’s efforts have not been lost on the sophomore goalkeeper either, who mentioned the coach’s message to Seton Hall athletics. “Rick has told us we have one of the stingiest defenses in the Big East.”
Columbia (2-1-1) enters Owen T. Carroll on a two-game winning streak after defeating Farleigh Dickinson and Citadel at home, both by 2-1 finals. Midfield/forwards and seniors Alexa Yow and Phoenetia Browne are tied for the team-lead in shots on goal, both with five.
The Lions, to this point, have recorded five goals on the year, one more than the blue and white.. Columbia was held without a goal once this season, being shut out on their home opener against Sacred Heart.
In Columbia’s last outing on Friday, a 2-1 win over Citadel, junior goalkeeper Gabby Dubick stopped one shot and allowed a goal. Columbia fired 18 shots and 10 shots on net. Helping light the offensive for the Lions were freshmen forward Emily Johnson who led the team with four shots on goal and scored the opening goal at the 55th minute of play. After Citadel knotted the game up, it was senior Coleen Rizzo whose goal in the 66th minute gave Columbia the 2-1 lead, which would go on to be the final.
The attack has been an issue for the Pirates this season as they head into Monday’s match, but Stainton said the offense is progressing.
“You can see it in our shot totals,” he said. “We are building a quality attack, and we’re getting a number of opportunities that we haven’t had earlier on in the season.”
The Pirates will look to continue progressing their attack Monday as they take on the Columbia Lions. Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Neal McHale can be reached at email@example.com.