Fresh’ off win, Pirates begin conference play
Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor
The start of the regular season has been bumpy for the members of the women’s soccer team, who seem to have found a rhythm in the past couple weeks. Finishing their nonconference play with the team’s first at home win was important for the team to create a sense of urgency heading into conference play.
wThe Pirates improved their record to 3-4-2, defeating LIU Brooklyn by a 3-1 final. In this game, the Pirates outshot their opponent 8-5. Redshirt-junior Kristin Kosch, fresh off her first goal of the season is hoping the team can maintain this type of play.
“We will stick to our game of possession and getting in behind their defense to create dangerous, scoring opportunities.” Kosch said.
An important sentiment for the team is the chance that the Big East Conference offers their season in the way of a “fresh start.”
“We are on a clean slate, this is our first conference game and we want to make an impression,” senior forward Angie Shehaj said. “It is important that we all go in with the attitude to win.” Shehaj scored her third goal of her career and first of the season in the Pirates’ win over LIU Brooklyn on Friday. “We are taking it one game at a time focusing on the game plan and execution,” she said.
The Pirates execution will be challenged by their first Big East opponent, Providence College, who’s riding a three-game winning streak. Providence also ranked in fifth place in the official Big East Conference standings with an overall record of 4-3-2.
Pirate goalkeeper, sophomore Illissa Blackshear, is confident about the ability in her team to be successful in their conference. “We have to play the way that we are capable of,” Blackshear said. “Stay balanced on defense, possess the ball, win 50/50s, and get into the attack to score goals.” This season Blackshear has already recorded 31 saves and 3 shut out games.
Junior defender D’Yonna Riley played 66 minutes in the team’s first home victory of the regular season and knows there are some parts of the game that the team as a whole needs to improve upon. “Finishing is an aspect of our game that we are continuing to improve upon,” she said. “Our mindset as a team is a bit different because Big East starts this week. The second half of our season is beginning and we now have a clean slate. Everyone is prepared to dig deep and get results because from here on out every game is incredibly important.”
A positive note for the Pirates is that they are finding scorers from all positions. Seven different players have scored the Pirates’ 7 goals on the season. This has allowed for a variety of opportunities to be exploited. “Our non-conference games have definitely helped us grow and develop, and I’m excited to see how we come out again Providence, I have positive feelings about this week,” Reilly said.
The Big East Conference matches will kick-off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 25th at Providence.
Rene Pereira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ReneRene24.