CUA moves to 2-0 in conference play with shutout win

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Cardinals ran their record to a perfect 2-0 in the Landmark Conference on Saturday afternoon as they picked up an impressive 2-0 win over Juniata on the road.  Lauren Cadott netted an early score for CUA and Courtney Orgill sealed it with a second half goal.

CUA outshot Juniata 19-10 on the afternoon, including a 10-3 advantage in the opening 45 minutes.  The Cardinals had 12 corner kicks to the Eagles' five and CUA goalkeeper Christina Cassidy stopped three shots on the afternoon to Juniata's Kristen Penska, who sent back nine shots.

CUA got to work early in the match as Mary McGann was awarded a corner kick just 1:40 in.  She sent the ball into Cadott, who then beat Penska for the score and an early 1-0 Cardinals lead.  "It was really nice to get that early goal because we had a stretch there where we were giving up early goals, so it was nice to see us strike first today," Cardinals head coach J.P. Sousa said afterwards.

In the opening ten minutes CUA took three shots and was awarded three corner kicks, as the Cardinals set an aggressive tone right from the start.

Ellen Jansen's shot at the 19:45 mark for CUA was blocked, while Cadott's attempt three minutes later was saved, but the Cardinals refused to let up as they kept the pressure on.

Chiara Comolli unleashed a shot at the 24:12 mark that Penska stoped but soon after CUA was awarded yet another corner kick.  Kelly Donnelly's shot at the 27:29 mark was saved by Penska, while Caitlin Conroy's try three minutes later sailed wide.

In the final eight minutes of the half CUA outshot its opponent 2-0 and was awarded three corner kicks to the Eagles' zero.  Following a good opening half by the Cardinals, they took their 1-0 lead into halftime.

"We maintained pressure throughout the half," Sousa said.  "We were buzzing around out there, we had a good number of scoring chances; we were unlucky on a few, their keeper made a couple of nice saves so we knew it was only a matter of time before we'd get another one and that's what we talked about at halftime.  We knew we could not be satisfied with the one-goal lead, we needed to add to it."

Much like the first half, the Cardinals came out firing in the second, as they unleashed three shots in the first four minutes.  McGann then took another shot at the 52:09 mark, and four minutes later Cadott got off another attempt that Penska stopped.

With 56:47 gone in the match, the Cardinals upped their lead to 2-0 when Orgill took a feed from McGann and scored her second goal of the season.  "We kept the pressure on in the second half," Sousa said.  "We were able to exploit the space they gave us and our goal in the second half was probably the nicest one we've had all season long."  He continued, "There were three touch passes on the goal and it was a very, very nice play by our girls."

From there, the CUA defense took over as it limited the Eagles to only six more shots for the remainder of the match and registered its third straight shutout.  "Our defense is playing hard right now.  We told them before the game that they needed to be up to the physical challenge and they answered the call.  When our defense plays the way they did today, everyone follows suit, so that was very nice to see."

The Cardinals will return to the pitch on Tuesday, October 12 when they travel to take on Shenandoah underneath the lights beginning at 7:00.  It is the first of three matches for CUA next week.  "This is where we're going to see what we're made of," Sousa said.  "We as coaches need to be smart about the number of minutes we play the girls, and they (the team) are going to need to be smart about the way they handle their bodies over this stretch."  

He concluded, "This is when we want to be playing our best soccer of the season.  It feels nice to be 2-0 in the conference, but we have a lot of soccer yet to be played."

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