By Kyle Wills
The Youngstown State University women’s soccer team earned its first victory of the season following its 2-1 win over the University of Detroit Mercy Sept. 23 at home.
Junior Regan LaVigna lifted a pass over the last line of the Titans’ defenders and junior Marcella Sizer found the ball in the middle of the box. Sizer’s shot split the goalkeeper’s legs for the game-winner.
Sizer discussed that moment of the game and how it felt to help the team win.
“Regan worked really hard and got us a corner. I had a good feeling about it,” she said. “Justine took the kick and it got past a few of us, then it somehow in the back of the box. Regan shot it and I was like, ‘I need to go follow her shot,’ and then it landed perfectly in front of me.
“I just put it in the back of the net, so it was a really good feeling,” Sizer said.
The Penguins improve to 1-6-3 overall and 1-0-2 in Horizon League play while the Titans fall to 1-9-0 overall and 0-3-0 in league play.
Head coach Brian Shrum was excited to see the women win after battling a tough schedule to start the year.
“It’s good to see the girls get that. We had a hard non-conference schedule, played on the road a lot, so it was good to see the enjoyment,” he said.
After tying the first two games against conference opponents, Sizer said it was great to get the first victory.
“It was really nice to get our first win in the Horizon League after we had tied both [previous Horizon League] games, so it was good to finally win one,” she said.
Sizer also said the previous overtime experience this season helped them prevail in the victory.
“During the Detroit Mercy game, we were joking during overtime. We were like, ‘Oh we got this, we’ve done this these past two games. We can win this,’” she said. “We know how to play in overtime. We’ve been doing this the past two games.”
Shrum said the team’s ability to keep thinking ahead helped the women in the match.
“The model that I’ve been teaching them over the years is just keep thinking about the next action. They played till the end, 110 minutes. Although we didn’t have to go that far, so it was good to see that,” he said.
After a scoreless first half, freshman Erika Maliska scored her first career goal of the match. Junior Mikayla Mustard retrieved a long corner kick and centered the ball back to Maliska, who lofted a shot over the arms of Titans goalkeeper Marisa Silver.
The Titans tied the match at 1-1 after a goal nearly five minutes later.
YSU goalkeeper Brooklynn Kirkpatrick picked up her first career win. The sophomore posted another solid game in the net, tallying six saves.
For the match, YSU outshot UDM 16-12 and recorded six corners to the Titans’ four.
Up next, the soccer team will travel to the University of Wisconsin Green Bay at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 and will return home to host Northern Kentucky University at 1 p.m. Oct. 10.