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Women’s Soccer vs. Shenandoah and Randolph

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Photo Courtesy of Maroon Athletics
Photo Courtesy of Maroon Athletics

 

This past week, the Women’s Soccer team faced off against Shenandoah and Randolph in two ODAC rivalry matches.

The first contest pitted the Maroons against a weaker Shenandoah squad. On paper, Roanoke posted a much stronger record of 5-2-1 overall (2-1 ODAC) compared to Shenandoah’s meager 4-6 (1-1 ODAC) record, yet the two teams appeared evenly matched in the pitch.

The Maroons actually seemed taken aback by Shenandoah’s aggressiveness in the first half, and their usually stalwart defense faltered a bit, allowing eight shots in the first 45 minutes of action. Forced into a defensive scramble, the Maroons were unable to generate successful offense in the first half either, recording only two shots the entire first half. Combined, their offensive and defensive struggles led to a sloppy first half for the Maroons, and allowed Shenandoah to sneak a goal just past keeper Sarah Dvorak in the 39th minute for a 1-0 Shenandoah lead.

This score turned out to be the only one needed for Shenandoah in the game as the Maroons’ struggles continued in the second half. Although their offense picked up momentum, recording six shots and three corner kicks, the Maroons were still unable to get on the board. Their best opportunity came with 13 minutes to go when senior forward Marlana Barnard rocketed a free kick that was just barely punched away by the Hornet goalkeeper as one of her three saves in the second half. When the final horn sounded, the Maroons had taken a tough 1-0 loss against a beatable ODAC rival.

Looking to bounce back, the Maroons next turned their attention to an away match against a Randolph squad posting a poor record of 3-6 on the year.

Roanoke absolutely exploded out of the gate to start the game. Ashley Barnes made short work of an unexpecting Randolph defense in the opening seconds of the match, recording an unassisted goal in under a minute to give the Maroons an early 1-0 lead. Not to be stopped, Barnes again added to the scoreboard in the seventh minute when she finished off a beautiful pass from Laura Sullivan to bump the Maroons’ lead up to 2-0.

The pace slowed a bit after the intensity of the first seven minutes, and the Maroons were held in check by Randolph until the 40th minute. Then, Laura O’Brien made an excellent heads up play by intercepting a goal kick, and, in one fluid motion, rifling a shot past the opposing goalkeeper. O’Brien’s goal gave the Maroons a 3-0 lead in just the first half and already seemed to eliminate any chance for a Randolph comeback. However, the Maroons took no notice of Randolph’s defeated demeanor and opened the second half with more offensive pressure. This time, it was the duo of Linnea Kremer and Anna Carter that bested Randolph’s porous defense. Kremer started the offensive assault with a strong shot on goal, but it was saved by Randolph’s goalkeeper. Not ten seconds later, Kremer again gained possession, but this time dished out a perfect assist to Anna Carter, who put it away for the Maroons’ fourth and final goal of the match.

The final score showed the Maroons handing Randolph a debilitating 4-0 loss. With the bounce-back win, Roanoke moves to 6-3-1 overall with a 3-2 ODAC record.

On a non-athletic note, the Maroons were also named an NSCAA College Team Academic Winner last week. The Women’s Soccer team posted an impressive 3.17 team GPA last year and finished with their ninth consecutive season of 10+ wins. The Maroons were also just one of four ODAC teams to receive this honor. Be sure to congratulate the Maroons on their impressive academic achievement and their most recent ODAC win.