Tag Archives: soccer

Drew Rangers shoot down Juniata Eagles

A rainy day marked a dreary 2-1 loss for the Juniata College women’s soccer team. The Eagles failed to defend their home turf and fell to the Drew College Rangers. Fans crowded into Juniata’s newly-constructed Gibbel Stadium on Oct. 8 to watch this Landmark Conference game.

Prior to the match, the Eagles’ record stood at 3-4-1 and the Rangers at 4-4-1. With nearly identical records, spectators, totaling about 50, expected the game to be a close call. “They’re both talented teams,” said Jason Young, a Huntingdon resident and long-time Juniata fan. “I just hope we’re all braving the rain for something.”

As the rivals began playing, the Eagles held the clear upper hand. The ball seemed stuck on Juniata’s scoring side. In only 20 minutes of play, the Eagles had made three shots on goal. Relying on breakaways and headers, Juniata appeared to be the team to bet on. Drew continued to drag behind until Juniata forfeited the game’s first corner kick. Drew took this opportunity and scored the first goal of the game at 20:50. Drew’s Thalia Santacruz, assisted by Caroline Kelly, made her first goal of the season and lit a match under the seats of both the teams and the spectators alike. The Eagles immediately retaliated, growing more aggressive, but the Rangers answered forcefully, fighting back and maintaining possession of the ball.

Only seven short minutes later, Juniata’s Anna Kauffman made a breakaway that slipped past the Drew defensive line and landed a goal for the Eagles. At 27:02, the score was 1-1.

The ten-minute halftime did nothing to re-energize the players. In fact, as the half began it looked like neither team had practiced in weeks. Gameplay remained slow, but the athletes grew frustrated, shoving each other. The crowd amplified their own irritation as the referees ignored some fouls on the field.

With two minutes left in the game, the spectators were anticipating overtime. But, Drew’s Erin Connors, assisted by Alexis Castanheira, scored the game-winning goal off of a rebound with just 59 seconds left in the game. The Eagles did all they could to even the score in the remaining seconds, but the Rangers defended their goal and kept the ball in their possession, winning the game 2-1.

“The team really needs to work on their energy as a whole,” said Scott McKenzie, Juniata’s head coach. “There were sparks of drive, and they played well, but I’m not convinced they really wanted it until Drew scored that last goal.”

“We needed the Landmark win,” said Chris Condron, an assistant coach of Drew’s women’s soccer team. “The girls are all psyched, but, I have to say, all of the coaches thought this game was going into OT. Needless to say, this is a great win to bring home with us.”

Despite Juniata’s loss, the Eagles will play on. Their next home game is on Oct. 22 against Moravian College. Drew also goes on to face Moravian College on Oct. 18.

Lancaster County College Showcase Soccer Tournament

Being recruited to play college soccer is not an easy process. A player must convince a coach to come watch him play, play well in front of them, and then have the merits to get into the college. Most coaches don’t have the time or money to come see all the players that contact them. But recently this process is being made easier thanks to Greg Morales.

Morales has come up with the concept of hosting College Showcase Tournaments where a local soccer club will host a youth soccer tournament (typically only ages 15-18 are invited) at the same time that they host a college soccer tournament. This way college coaches can travel less and see more players at one time.

Over the weekends of April 12th and 13th and 19th and 20th the Hempfield Soccer Club of Lancaster County will host a men’s college showcase and a women’s college showcase respectively.

“I was there checking out some of the local players,” Elizabethtown College head coach Arthur Roderick said. “I just love the atmosphere of these tournaments.”

It also gives college coaches the ability to play for the first time with their new team for next season.

“It’s tremendous for us,” University of Pennsylvania head soccer coach Rudy Fuller said, “to be able to see all these young, talented players in one area, while being able to coach my team, really saves on travel and makes life much easier.”

There is another side to this equation that coach Fuller did not even think about.

“I wanted to create an opportunity where the kids can be seen by the colleges and the colleges can be seen by the kids,” Morales said. “We’re almost reversing the process. My pitch to the kids was this is your chance to go see the college coach.”

And thus far it was a major success with both players and coaches.

“This was the first college soccer game I have ever seen,” Jamie Godel, an under-17 LANCO (Lancaster County) soccer player said after watching Penn State University beat Columbia University 2-0. “It was cool to see where I dream of playing one day.”

Godel only helped his chances this weekend of one day playing college soccer as he scored a goal against York United. LANCO went on to defeat York 2-0.

“I’m just hoping one of the scouts out here saw it,” Godel said.

With Penn State University, University of Pennsylvania, Bucknell University, Temple University and Towson University just some of the local schools in attendance at this event Godel can only hope he left an impression on some of the schools.

As for Morales, his tournaments are opening up doors for both players and coaches that were never there before.

“It’s just amazing that this has never been done before,” Morales said. “I just happened to be the guy who decided to pursue it.”