The Mercyhurst College women’s soccer team was in action twice this week.
This past Wednesday the Lakers traveled to Slippery Rock University for an important Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West match-up.
Both teams had several close chances in the first half with the Lakers’ best chance coming from a freshman Danielle Braun shot.
Her effort was blocked in front of the SRU goal and turned away for a corner kick.
Slippery Rock had several chances of their own, highlighted by a corner kick that was directed toward goal. Junior defender Jamie Schroter stopped the shot on the line.
The teams entered the locker room at half time in a dead heat.
Slippery Rock came out the brighter of the two teams controlling the possession for much of the second half.
They were rewarded for this pressure with a goal early in the second half. Mercyhurst now faced an uphill battle with 20 minutes remaining.
They did not lie down, though, as sophomore Molly Marsh cut into the box in the 80th minute, sending a fierce ball into the danger area. The ball struck an SRU defender and was turned into the net to tie the game.
Seizing on this momentum, the Lakers went in search of a winner. A shot from sophomore Heather Donovan crashed against the crossbar, and it was senior Taylor Hilinski who was quickest off the mark. She smashed the ball to the back of the net to give the Lakers a lead they did not relinquish.
It was back to the Mercyhurst soccer field for the Lakers on Sunday as they welcomed the Bobcats of West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Both teams leveled each other out, playing to a scoreless tie at half-time.
The teams were somewhat cautious in the first period. Both keepers combined for just four saves in 45 minutes of play.
The second half started much differently with senior Jamie Laturell and Schroter taking shots within the first five minutes. The Bobcats created a few chances themselves, catching the Lakers on the break in minute 56.
The Lakers broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute when Hilinski connected with a Marsh cross. Her sixth score of the season put the Lakers ahead, 1-0.
With the Bobcats taking more chances offensively and playing a more aggressive style of soccer, the Lakers had chances to catch them on the break.
Senior Jessie Roberts stole the ball to thwart an attack and found Molly Marsh with 13 minutes left to play. Marsh struck a shot from 20 yards out into the top corner to give the Lakers a 2-0 advantage.
The Bobcats managed a goal of their own when Mercyhurst goalkeeper freshman Amanda John saved a shot, but the rebound was sent crashing into the net.
The Lakers would hold on to win, 2-1, however, and move to an overall record of 6-3-1.
“Coming off of a tough week, we needed to up our game and get back to winning ways. We battled hard on the road against Slippery Rock and we took the game to WVW at home. We worked very hard as a team,” Laturell said.
The Lakers go on the road this week against cross-town rival Gannon University on Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.