The Carnegie Mellon women?s soccer team split its two matches this week, beating Penn State Altoona, but losing to sixth-ranked Washington University (Mo.). The loss to the Bears was Carnegie Mellon?s first of the season, and came in a hard fought University Athletic Association (UAA) match up. The Tartans record is now 6?1?2.
On Wednesday, September 29, Carnegie Mellon hosted Penn State Altoona at Gesling Stadium, and routed them by a final score of 9-0. The Tartans took the early lead, as sophomore midfielder Jillian Erickson netted her first goal of the season in the sixth minute. The play was set up as junior forward Kristin Bevilacqua-Linn?s pass found junior forward Hallie Dumont at the right edge of the box. Dumont then crossed it to Erickson for the easy finish.
There was a noticeable let-down on the field after the first goal, and Tartans head coach Heather Kendra could be heard on the sidelines threatening to bring in the substitutes if the pace did not pick up.
Shortly thereafter, Carnegie Mellon scored its second goal, as a Lisa Pascoli corner found the foot of first-year forward Kasey Stever, who tapped the ball into the back of the net in the 33rd minute.
Whatever Kendra told the team at halftime seemed to resonate with the players, as the floodgates opened in the second half. In what at times looked more like an offensive clinic than an NCAA soccer match, the Tartans peppered Penn State?s freshman goalkeeper with 22 second half shots, scoring on seven of them. By the end of the game, the final shot count was 40?1 in favor of Carnegie Mellon.
Sophomore midfielder Ashley McMakin fed the ball to sophomore fullback Andrea Maresca for the third goal of the game, in the 48th minute. In the 55th minute, Erickson scored off of an assist from Bevilacqua-Linn, increasing the Tartan lead to four goals.
A minute later, junior forward Vanessa McClain-Duer stole the ball from a Penn State defender and hit it into the back of the net for goal number five. In the 59th minute, Dumont stole the ball 35 yards out and scored a goal reminiscent of the Major League Soccer shootouts from the league?s inaugural season, as it took her about five seconds to run towards the goal untouched and score the sixth goal of the game.
Junior midfielder Nadya Yaghoubi added to the goal total in the 73rd minute, as her shot ricocheted of the top and left posts before going in. Before it was over, McMakin scored in the 81st minute, and Stever scored her second goal of the game in the 85th minute. Stever?s two goals give her five on the year, which leads the team. Senior goalkeeper Megan Monroe, who was named UAA Athlete of the Week due to her stellar play and back-to-back shutouts last week, was not tested once throughout the game.

Senior midfielder Amy Tsao was pleased with her team?s second half performance, saying that ?we really picked up our game.?
Kendra agreed, ?I?m happy with the final result, but I am not happy with our first half caliber of play. I was very pleased with the second half, though.?
?It was a great opportunity to work on our finishing,? added Stever.
Yesterday, the Tartans hosted the Washington University (Mo.) Bears in their first conference game, and lost by a final score of 1?0. It was a tight game throughout, and a very physical one, as both teams tried to start UAA play on a strong note. Both teams attacked well for all ninety minutes, but stellar team defending and goalkeeping stymied many opportunities.
Washington University struck first in the 17th minute, as the ball bounced around in front of Carnegie Mellon?s goal before a Bear forward could put it in. The Tartans picked up their attack for the rest of the half, including a great header on goal in the 30th minute that was saved by Washington?s goalkeeper. Carnegie Mellon went into halftime down 1?0.
In the 63rd minute, junior fullback Margaret Beck?s excellent ball-work along the sideline created a great scoring chance for the Tartans, but they were unable to finish. In the 69th minute, a Carnegie Mellon free kick from twenty yards out hit the post, but again the home squad was unlucky. Monroe made an excellent save with less than seven minutes to play to keep her team in the game, but the game-tying goal was elusive, and the Tartans suffered their first loss of the season.
?We had lots of good chances,? said Yaghoubi. ?We held our ground well ? we had lots of opportunities. We?ve got keep our heads together and get ready for Chicago.?
The Tartans travel to the University of Chicago on Saturday, October 9, to face the fifteenth-ranked Maroons.