Seniors Amy Strauser and Monica Wood scored goals to propel No. 23 ESU Women’s Soccer to a 2-0 win over the Shepherd University Rams at Eiler-Martin Stadium last Saturday. It was the team’s last game of the regular season.
The final game of the regular season was also Senior Day. The team’s eight seniors were honored for their outstanding accomplishments during their college careers before the start of the game.
Hannah Saggese was one of the seniors who were recognized by the program and she tore her ACL in the previous game against Millersville.
Nevertheless, she lined up to play at the start of the game. Fellow senior Danielle Cary passed her the ball. Saggese then lightly kicked the ball out of bounds. It would be the last play of her college career.
“Playing soccer at ESU has been the most amazing experience ever,” Saggese said.
“I have the best coaches and teammates ever,” Saggese said. “My parents have been very supportive, too.”
The game ensued in earnest.
In the ninth minute of the game, a throw-in was directed to senior Amy Strauser. She received the ball and did a pirouette and launched a high arcing shot past Shepherd’s goalkeeper for the first goal of the game.
“Today we knew we had to come out strong and play with high intensity,” Strauser said.
The Warriors outshot the Rams 8-2 in the first half, but the score was 1-0 at halftime.
Seventeen minutes after intermission, ESU added an insurance goal.
Senior Jessica Woodbyrne got the ball at midfield and directed a long pass to senior Monica Wood who was streaking toward the goal and her shot from 10 yards out found the back of the net for ESU’s second goal of the game.
“We needed to win. A lot of us are beating up and tired, but it was a good confidence booster before PSACs,” Wood said.
ESU’s backfield was outstanding. They only gave up six shots, and sophomore goalkeeper Mauri Jackson made two saves for the team’s ninth shutout of the season.
Head Coach Rob Berkowitz was pleased to send out his seniors with a win.
“Good performance all around. Happy to get a win on the last home game for our seniors,” Berkowitz said.
Both Strauser and Wood were excited to take on the next challenge.
“We had a little bit of a slow start, but we knew we really had to pick it up and play really hard to get a good seed for the tournament. We feel that we have the strength and ability to win,” Strauser said.
The Warriors would coast to a 2-0 win and ensured a bid in the PSAC tournament.
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