Women’s soccer targets porous Blackbirds defense to get offense in motion
Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor
Goals have not exactly come at a premium for Rick Stainton’s team, but if Monday’s draw with Columbia is any indication of how the Pirates will play defensively when they host LIU Brooklyn Friday night, the Pirates could be in pretty good shape.
LIU might be as close to a perfect matchup as it gets for the Pirates. The Blackbirds (0-7-0) have only scored one goal this season while conceding 18.
For a team with a strong defense of late, just one goal could be the difference maker for the Pirates.
“We know if we score a goal it could mean a win for us,” Stainton said. “We just have to create our own looks.
Stainton identified LIU Brooklyn as a “quick” team.
“LIU has always been known to defend really well,” he said. “They’re a quick team that is hard to compact.”
The Pirates have defended really well too.
In fact, sophomore Illissa Blackshear has delivered three straight shutouts after answering the call to her new starting role; and by facing a team who has only scored one goal all season, the Pirates might be able to afford to be more aggressive offensively.
The three shutouts, all coming in double-overtime, have only amounted to one win, with the other two resulting in draws.
“It builds momentum for us,” Stainton said on the strong play from Blackshear. “It gives us a sense that we’re going to compete in every game.
Stainton went on to note that the shutouts are good results, but unless the team can score goals and get the win, it is pretty much just a learning experience.
Stainton says the offensive woes will not lead to his team straying away from the game plan—which has not changed much this season.
“Every game we’ve been looking to be aggressive,” Stainton said. “It’s always been our game plan, it just comes down to how we’re going to approach it. Defensively, with our depth it gives us many options.”
So how will the Pirates approach a winless LIU Brooklyn team? What is a key point of emphasis for the Pirates?
“Just executing,” Stainton said. “Being able to get the numbers forward to try to score a goal and get good looks.”
First kick is set for 7 p.m. at Owen T. Carroll Field.
David Heim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.