September 25, 2010

Cardinals open conference schedule with 1-0 win at home

WASHINGTON – The CUA women's soccer team got its 2010 Landmark Conference schedule off to a strong start on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Susquehanna.  In the process the Cardinals snapped their three-match losing streak and evened their season record at 4-4.

CUA controlled the match from start to finish on Saturday, outshooting the Crusaders 13-5 and totaling eight corner kicks to Susquehanna's three.  Amanda Cowan got the start in goal for the Cardinals, but had to leave midway through the second half due to injury.  She made one save on the afternoon before giving way to Christina Cassidy, who stopped two shots in 28 minutes of work.

Crusaders goalkeeper Rachel Norbuts stopped seven shots in her 90 minutes of work.

The first half of play was rather uneventful with only eight total shots.  CUA was credited with seven of the attempts, however, beginning with Kelly Donnelly's header at the 13:09 mark that Norbuts saved.  Caitlin Brett got a shot off one minute later that Norbuts also saved, while Maggie McCarthy's attempt at the 18:16 mark went high.

CUA had several more chances throughout the half, but none as good as Brett's shot with fewer than ten to play.  After maneuvering her way free from defenders, Brett unleashed a gorgeous shot from near the top of the box that sailed over Norbuts' head, but hit the crossbar.  That was CUA's final shot of the half, and soon after the team retired for halftime, knotted at zero.

The Cardinals came out aggressive in the second half, taking the first three shots, two of which Norbuts stopped.  A shot by Stephanie Burns at the 76:51 mark was also stopped by Norbuts, but with 79:24 to play, CUA was able to break the stalemate when Carolyn Girandola took a feed from Brett and found the back of the net.

CUA's defense allowed only one more shot the rest of the day as the Cardinals opened defense of their 2009 Landmark Conference championship with a "W." 

CUA head coach JP Sousa also welcomed back a large contingent of women's soccer alumnae on Saturday as the Cardinals celebrated the program's 25th season.  All alumnae in attendance were recognized on-field during halftime.

CUA will return to action on September 30 when the Cardinals play host to Eastern Mennonite at CUA Soccer Field.  Match time is set for 4:30.

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