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Spartans come out fast, but Lions escape with win

Raman Nohria

Issue date: 9/25/09 Section: Soccer
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[Click to enlarge]
Junior forward Amy Bishara lead the Spartans with three shots in the 2-1 loss to Mount Saint Joseph.
Junior forward Amy Bishara lead the Spartans with three shots in the 2-1 loss to Mount Saint Joseph.
[Click to enlarge]

[Click to enlarge]
Last Friday, the Spartans hosted the College of Mount Saint Joseph at Case Field. After a slow second half and unlucky goal, the Spartans unfortunately ended the game with a 2-1 loss. The Spartans are now 3-2-1 on the season after the match against Mount Saint Joseph.

The Spartans came out fast and strong. The defense and attack were connecting passing and finding the empty spaces to make good offensive runs. Hard work certainly paid off, as the Spartans took an early lead just ten minutes into the game. Junior Ana Arruda found space up the middle, and after maneuvering around the Mt. St. Joe defense, made a beautiful pass to senior Kaitlyn Yule. Yule capitalized off of Arruda's pass and slotted the ball perfectly into the goal from about ten yards out. The rest of the first half passed uneventfully and some of the momentum seemed to drain from the game, though the Spartans kept possession for the most part.

"We played a very good first half and were able to break them down and create some good opportunities. If we are able to create a few better goal scoring opportunities, we could've taken the wind out of their sails and put the game out of reach. We'll grow from the situation and be able to capitalize on those opportunities in the future," coach Tiff Crooks said.

It was not until the second half that the Mount Saint Joseph Lions tied it up 1-1 from a goal by Brittany Bowman. The shot was nearly saved by Spartan goalie, sophomore Jackie Guttman, but was deflected in. Mount Saint Joseph came out strong and fired up in the second half, and Coach Crooks believes that contributed to "disrupting the rhythm of the game."

"They made some good adjustments," said Crooks. "They worked very hard to get back into the game and win the game."

The Spartans fought to take the lead again and came close. Notably, at the 71:50 mark, junior forward Amy Bishara almost took the one goal lead, but the shot just skimmed off the right post. About seven minutes later, the Lions' Jessica Pykosz took a boot 35-yards out for a goal that would later end the game and put up a win for the Lions. Though in the last few minutes the Spartans scrambled to get a goal back and had many opportunities, they were not able to finish and come up with the result.

The last effort of the night was a well-placed corner kick by junior midfielder Cecelia Fusco, but the Spartans were unable to convert in the closing seconds of the match. All in all, the Spartans came up with 10 shots and four corner kicks, while the Lions took just seven shots and no corner kicks.

Despite the unlucky loss, the Spartans look ahead to the upcoming UAA conference matchups. Coach Crooks believes this to be another learning experience on the road to becoming a stronger program. "We'll learn from the game and come back stronger," Crooks said, "I have full faith in our group to turn that disappointment into a positive."

FYI

Who: Case vs. Ohio Northern University

When: Sept. 26 at 2 p.m.

Where: Case Field

Note: The match against Ohio Northern is Case's first "Kicks for a Cause" game. Team members will take pledges per shot taken in the game. The donations benefit the Alzheimer's Association's Cleveland Area Chapter.

Comment: Last year, the Spartans lost to Ohio Northern 2-1 in double overtime.
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