Women’s Soccer Qualifies for PSAC Tournament
By Maria Sassane
Last Friday afternoon, the East Stroudsburg University women’s soccer team beat previously undefeated and top-ranked Gannon University 4-2 at Eiler-Martin Stadium to secure its place in the postseason PSAC tournament.
Gannon came into the regular season finale as the No. 1 team in the PSAC with a 15-0 conference record (17-0 overall).
The Golden Knights were looking to end their regular season undefeated, but the Warriors needed to win the game in order to advance to the PSAC quarter-finals. A tie would not have been good enough.
ESU’s Eiler-Martin Stadium was filled with family, friends and fans of both teams. Before the game started, ESU’s seniors were recognized for all of their hard work and dedication to the soccer program.
Syrandin Deere Vester, Sammi Jo Hughes, and Maddie Corwin were the seniors who were honored for the Warriors.
Deere Vester started in 49 games for the Warriors, and Hughes started in 72 games. Deere Vester and Hughes are the co-captains of the team this season.
The first goal came in the middle of the first half by Gannon defender Amanda Gallant. The Warriors went into the half down 0-1.
About fifteen minutes into the second half, senior forward Sammi Jo Hughes boosted the Warriors’ momentum by scoring the first goal for ESU. The game was now tied 1-1.
ESU’s first goal changed the momentum in favor of the Warriors. Three more goals by the Warriors would follow in under twenty minutes.
Juniors Shea Neal, Brielyn Hackett, and Hannah Gombos scored three unanswered goals for the Warriors.
This was the first time all season that a team had scored more than one goal against Gannon.
“I thought we had played well for most of the game and felt like it was just a matter of time until we broke through. Gannon has not trailed in many games this season. It was probably a combination of us playing well and them being a little frustrated,” explains Coach Rob Berkowitz.
When the 90th minute came around, the defending PSAC champion Warriors officially won the game and advanced to the postseason PSAC tournament.
ESU was the seventh seed and traveled to No. 2 seed West Chester University last Tuesday to play in the PSAC quarterfinal game.
The Warriors lost to West Chester back in the beginning of October with a score of 1-0.
“The first game was a very even contest and could have went either way. West Chester is a very good team. We must stay organized defensively, limit their chances and finish ours. With it being a playoff game, the team that deals with the pressure and makes the fewest mistakes will probably come out on top and advance to the next round,” says Berkowitz.
In the PSAC quarterfinal game, ESU advanced to the PSAC semifinals by beating West Chester 4-3 in penalty kicks after the game was tied 0-0 after regulation and double over-time last Tuesday afternoon.
ESU will play No. 3 Slippery Rock in the semifinal tomorrow at Gannon. The PSAC Championship will be played on Sunday, Nov. 8.
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