By Pat Mariboe
Elm Staff Writer
The Shorewomen played their first home game since Aug. 31 on Thursday against Penn State-Harrisburg after suffering two straight away defeats against Cabrini College and Widener University. Washington College, who was unable to score in both of their losses last week, were hoping to put the defeats behind them and get a victory against the visiting Nittany Lions.
When asked about the team’s recent performance, Coach Kerry Smith said, “The best players have short term memory.”
The team was looking forward to putting that advice to use against Penn State-Harrisburg and improve their 1-2 record on the season.
The game started off on a quick note as freshman forward Emani Silva had a header float just over the crossbar in the seventh minute. Silva was involved in another goal scoring opportunity 10 minutes later, as she linked up with junior Bailey Howard, who had a bullet of a shot stopped after a great save by Nittany Lion’s goalkeeper Mackenzie Gates. Howard almost got on the scoresheet again in the 29th minute, after a one-on-one breakaway with the goalkeeper ended with a great save.
The Shorewomen finally found the breaking point in the 36th minute, when freshman midfielder Breanna Caruso played a ball into the box which the Nittany Lions keeper fumbled, which gave freshman forward Hayley Hartmann the easy tap-in to give WC the 1-0 lead at halftime.
Caruso recorded her first collegiate assist on the goal while Hartmann recorded her first collegiate goal.
“Scoring the first goal of the game felt amazing, and as a whole it helped us come together and gave us momentum to push ourselves to get two more,” Hartmann said. “It felt surreal to get my first collegiate goal, a feeling I’ll never forget.”
Although the first half ended with WC up 1-0, they dominated the possession and had the ball in Penn State-Harrisburg’s defensive half for a majority of the first 45 minutes.
The second half started up the same way, with WC pestering the Nittany Lion’s defense and always looking for the second goal. In the 53rd minute, sophomore forward Ashley Shortt played a perfect through ball toward senior forward Marisa Atkins who got past one defender, side stepped the goalie, and had her effort painfully crash right off the crossbar.
The pressure was building as the Shorewomen looked for their long awaited second goal, and it came in the 83rd minute.
Senior forward Suzanne Patinella slotted a ball through to Silva who was one-on-one with the goalkeeper. From here, Silva slotted it home into the bottom right corner, giving the Shorewomen the 2-0 lead and Silva her first collegiate goal.
WC got their third of the night when early goalscorer Hartmann chipped a ball over the top to Silva, who then slid it past the opposing goalkeeper, giving the Shorewomen a 3-0 victory and Silva her second goal of the game.
“Being a freshman on a team full of talented and experienced players, I wanted to be able to make an impact even during my first year,” Silva said. “Scoring two goals in our game definitely felt amazing and knowing my whole family was there to see it made it even more memorable.”
The Shorewomen outshot the Nittany Lions 20-9 in the match, as they improved their record this season to 2-2. The Shorewomen have a tough test ahead of them, as they start off a three game home-stand against Rutgers-Camden on Sept. 17 and will have little time to rest as they face off against Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore on the 20th and 23rd.
“As a whole, we can’t live off of past mistakes or successes. In order to achieve our goals, we have to focus on the tasks at hand,” Silva said. “With three upcoming games, we have to go into every practice, every game, with the mindset that we are going to win, we are going to work together, and we are going to leave it all on the field. Once the final whistle blows, it’s done and we move on.”