Women’s Soccer Continues Streaking

Sophomore back Laura Niero has six goals, including four game-winners, this season. Photo Credit / Kelley Anne Stuetz
Sophomore back Laura Niero has six goals, including four game-winners, this season. Photo Credit / Kelley Anne Stuetz
Sophomore back Laura Niero has six goals, including four game-winners, this season.
Photo Credit / Kelley Anne Stuetz

By Nick Granados
Sports Editor

After dropping their opening match 1-0 to Kutztown, the East Stroudsburg University Women’s Soccer team bounced back in their next game to defeat Edinboro 2-0 for their first win of the season.

After 13 games, the Warriors still haven’t lost.

ESU is currently on a record 14-game winning streak that has seen the team climb to the top of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and into the national Division II rankings.

Following a 2-1 win over Seton Hill at Eiler-Martin Stadium on October 22, the nationally-ranked Warriors hit the road for a pair of weekend matchups against Pitt-Johnstown on Saturday and Chestnut Hill on Monday.

The Warriors headed out west to Johnstown where they dispatched of the Lady Cats 5-0 on the strength of goals from Lauren Niera, Lauren Brophy, Andrea Polanco, Olivia Davidovich, and Kendall Galvin.

The win was ESU’s fourteenth straight win of the season.

Two days after exploding for 5 goals, the Warriors picked up where they left off when they headed down to Philadelphia to take on Chestnut Hill.

It took all of four minutes for ESU to get on the board when Courtney Keller headed in a cross to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.

The goal was followed by goals from Shea Neal, Syrandin Deere Vester, Sammi Jo Hughes, Olivia Davidovich, Hannah Gombos, and Kelly Redl as the Warriors crushed the Griffins 7-0.

With the win, ESU improved to 15-1 overall. The Warriors also moved up to third in the country in the most recent NSCAA DII Poll.

Leading the Warriors offense is midfielder/forward Courtney Keller and back Laura Niero, who lead all Warriors with six goals this season.

Keller, a senior from Thomasville, PA, also has three assists and 23 shots on goal in 16 games started. Two of her six goals have been game winners.

Niera, a sophomore from Owego, NY, also started all 16 games this season. Four of her six goals have been game winners.

Niera was also named PSAC Women’s Soccer Athlete of the Week for the week of September 29.

Sophomore forward/midfielder Shea Neal and junior forward Sammi Jo Hughes are tied in second with five goals each.

Backstopping the Warriors for the majority of the season has been freshman goalkeeper Jules Harris.

In 13 starts, the Orangeburg, NY native has made 49 saves, has a goals against average of 0.55, and has an 0.875 save percentage.

Freshman goalkeeper Jess Hetrick started the other three games for the Warriors and has allowed just two goals and made 9 saves in those games.

ESU tied their previous single season record of 12 straight wins following a Sammi Jo Hughes goal in overtime to beat Shippensburg.

The Warriors broke their record with a 2-1 win over Seton Hill following a game-winning goal from Laurel Niera in the 89th minute to win their thirteenth straight game.

Following a 6-0 win over Bloomfield on October 4, the Warriors moved up to No.6 in the NSCAA Division II Poll. The No. 6 ranking matched their highest national ranking in school history.

The 15-1 Warriors are currently ranked No. 3 in the NSCAA DII Poll.

The 15-game win streak ties the 1993 and 1994 ESU women’s soccer teams that won a combined 15 consecutive games (the last two games of the 1993 season and the first thirteen games of the 1994 season).

The No. 3 ranked Warriors are currently tied with West Chester for first in the PSAC. Both teams have identical 13-1 records in PSAC play.

The Warriors will conclude their regular season with backto-back matinee games on October 31 against Slippery Rock, and on November 1 against California (Pa.), which is also Alumni Day.

Both games are slated to kick-off at 1:00 PM from EilerMartin Stadium.

Three days after their regular season finale, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament kicks off with ESU hosting their first round matchup on November 4 at Eiler-Martin Stadium.

The time and the team are both yet to be determined.

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