BY NICK FORBES-CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The Susquehanna women’s soccer team lost a hard-fought battle against the visiting Misericordia Cougars 1-0 on Sept. 9.
The Crusaders defense held strong until the 55th minute, when Misericordia sophomore forward Jaqueline Stevens crossed to senior forward Meghan Antrim in the box. Antrim gathered and fired, sneaking the ball past Susquehanna junior goalie Jordyn Slocum.
“Our defense was really strong,” said Slocum.
Misericordia outshot Susquehanna, tallying 13 shots compared to the Crusaders’ seven. Slocum was able to make six saves, including two challenges to stop breakaways.
The Cougars were led by their own goalie, sophomore Alyssa Pojero, who with help from her defense recorded the shutout and the win.
“You’re playing against a team as high of a quality there is in this area,” Head Coach Nick Hoover said. “The effort and time we put in to this game was one of the best efforts I’ve seen of this team.”
Misericordia is a squad that ranks 15th nationally according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III poll. Hoover knew this would be a challenge, but still would not count his team out.
“You always ‘get up’ for a team like this,” said Hoover. “To hold them to one goal and to almost score a couple ourselves is great, but we accept nothing but victory.”
The Crusaders did have some unlucky breaks however. In the 7th minute sophomore forward Alyssa Bolger fired a left-footed shot from the wing that ricocheted off the crossbar back into possession of a Cougars defender.
Late in the game there were chances for the Crusaders to score, but with Misericordia falling back on defense the efforts were fruitless.
Hoover had high praise for the visiting Cougars, saying they would “make a lot of noise in the NCAA tournament,” but when he addressed his team at the conclusion of the game he made sure to set the record straight.
“That was a good team, I’m not going to take that away from them,” Hoover said. “But we need to continue to get better and fix the little things. From now on, we do not accept losing.”