UR women headed home after opening loss

Courtesy of UofRathletics.com

MIDDLEBURY, VT – The University of Rochester women’s soccer team saw its season come to an end following a tight 1-0 loss to Ithaca College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships at Middlebury College.

Rochester concludes the 2018 campaign with a 9-8-1 record, while the Bombers move to 14-2-3 overall and will play host Middlebury in the second round of the regional on Sunday.

The Bombers ended up scoring the winning on a UR own goal in the 53rd minute.  Ithaca embarked on a long run up the left side with Alex Epifani outrunning the UR defense.  After evading UR’s Emma Schechter in goal, Epifani had a tough angle shot which got sent across the goal mouth and got deflected in off the Yellowjacket defense.

Ithaca opened the game with some early pressure, generating two corner kicks in the first two minutes. Just 1:49 into the game, the Bombers Reid Garner had a free kick from 28 yards and looked like she was going to put IC up early, but Rochester’s Schechter made a great diving save, punching the attempt over the bar and away for a corner kick.

Rochester’s first scoring chance of the contest came in the ninth minute.  Senior Shayna Levy gained possession along the left side and sent a cross towards the left post where Kerri Eden back heeled a pass in front, but none of her teammates were home and Ithaca was able to clear.

In the 15th minute, the heavy winds knocked down a Bomber goal kick which allowed UR to gain possession.  Carolyn Richards evaded a couple of Ithaca defenders and sent a ball into the box looking for Emily Henry in front, but the Bombers were able to break up the play.

Another free kick for Ithaca gave the Bombers a scoring chance from 22 yards out, but Elise Leavitt’s low shot through traffic at the 22 minute mark was saved by Schechter.

UR’s Eden recorded a strong early chance in the second half, taking a shot off a chipped ball in the box from teammate Margaret Lee in the 49th minute.  Eden’s attempt was saved though by IC keeper Stacey Digiorgio.

The Bombers were then able to score at the 52:34 mark, making it 1-0 Ithaca, eventually holding on to that lead despite some Yellowjacket pressure for the remainder of the game.

Ithaca nearly made it 2-0 four minutes after its initial goal, generating an excellent opportunity on a 2-on-2 break.  Sarah Pirnie ended up with the one-timer shot which was saved point blank by a diving Schechter.  The UR first-year keeper ended with season-high nine saves on the day.

Rochester’s Cesca Sheppard had a header opportunity in the 80th minute after a free kick ball got bounced around, but the first-year forward didn’t have enough pace on the shot and Digiorgio made the easy save.

The final chance of the game to pull even came at the 86 minute mark when a back heel chip off a corner kick found the foot of Andrea Lopez in front, but her point blank opportunity at the edge of the crease was saved.  Digiorgio ended up stopping five shots for the Bombers.

Overall, Ithaca held a 17-6 advantage in shots and earned four of the seven corner kicks in the contest.

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