By: Matylda Zamudio
Hazleton, Pa. – In the first match of the post-season, the Penn State Beaver women's soccer team traveled to Harman Geist Memorial Field on Saturday to battle it out against the ladies of Penn State Hazleton for a spot in the PSUAC Championship.
As the first period began, Hazleton's offense took control earlier, as their players gained possession of the ball and worked their way down to Beaver's goal area and scored a goal in the fifth minute. At the 12th minute, Hazleton shot again at Beaver's net but goalie Brittany Zahn saved the play. Both Katie Valiga and Marissa King shot to try to put Beaver on the board but to no avail. As the match went on, the teams play more aggressive and Hazleton started to run into some foul trouble as the team picked up three fouls in 13 minutes. In the 27th minute, Hazelton gained possession of the ball once again and after hitting Beaver's crossbar on the first attempt, Hazleton converted a shot to the net a minute later to put Beaver in a two-goal hole (0-2). Momentum now stood with Hazelton's offensive women as Beaver's defensive tried to keep them at bay in the 32nd minute, but Hazleton was once again in Beaver scoring territory and sent another goal into the net, adding a third goal to Beaver's deficit and then followed up a fourth-scored goal less than four minutes later before ending the first period (0-4).
Trailing 0-4 at halftime, the odds were now stacked against the Lady Lions, who would have to forge and execute a new offensive strategy quickly in the second to have a puncher's chance at winning the game. Beaver lost 0-5 against Hazleton. But the second period faired no better for Beaver, as the women struggled to establish an offensive rhythm and allowed Hazleton to dominate possession of the ball for most of the second period and scored another goal only 10 minutes in (0-5). Despite six saves from Zahn and setting up a few critical scoring opportunities, Beaver missed the mark and the ladies were unable to recover from the deficit, falling 0-5 to Hazleton to end their 2018-2019 season.
Despite the outcome of Saturday's game, Beaver came a long way from the past season and played very well, especially down the stretch. With the season now over for Beaver, the Lady Lions finished third in the PSUAC standing with a 7-6 overall record for this season.