Eiser’s saves keep Captains undefeated streak alive through five games
The Women’s soccer team extended their undefeated streak to five games, ending a weekend of tough play with a 4-0-1 record. Weather issues delayed the games by a day initially, but by start time the Captain’s were playing under a beautiful evening sky both nights.
Although the #4 Christopher Newport University did not put up the convincing offensive performances that their ranking would suggest, two freshmen added their names to the season score sheet, each picking up one of the three Christopher Newport goals of the weekend.
#00 Haley Eiser continues to be a star in net for the Captains – it took five games (and 406 minutes of play for those counting at home) for an opponent to find a way to slip the ball past her. She still ends the weekend with a save percentage of almost 95 percent. The senior is well on her way to topping her standout performance last season.
Game number one of the weekend for Christopher Newport pitted them against Emory University.
The majority of the game was an exciting battle in the midfield for possession, with plenty of challenges to each side’s defenses. Emory posted 23 shots (seven on target) to Christopher Newport’s 17 (eight on target).
The Captain’s made the most of their opportunities, however, especially freshman #25 Jessica Zimmermann. Zimmermann took advantage of an aggressive attempt from #10 Maddie Cochran and earned her first goal of her collegiate career.
The nearly-perfect play from the Captain’s backline and Eiser earned themselves their fourth consecutive shutout of the season. In addition to such defensive staples like #4 Shaye Doherty, #5 Keiley McCarthy, and #35 Lulu Manley, freshman #7 Jill McDonald also made her mark, enjoying considerable playing time in the match and earning her second goal in her collegiate career late in the game to seal the victory for Christopher Newport.
On Sunday, Christopher Newport faced the also-undefeated Dickinson College. An intense match between two defensively-minded teams, the scoring was sparse but the action was not.
Miscommunication and rough transitions from the midfield to the attacking third plagued the Captains throughout the match, however, and the few opportunities they were able to win were quickly shut down by a stellar defensive showing from Dickinson.
While it can hardly be said that the Captains played horribly, their team cohesion was lacking. #19 Riley Cook was left alone frequently amonst multiple defenders, and their few attacks through the sides did not have the results spectators are used to seeing from a traditionally high-energy offense.
Luckily, Christopher Newport’s defense continued their solid play through the first half and the game remained scoreless going into the half.
Less than two minutes into the second half Dickinson finally cracked the Christopher Newport defense and became the first team to get a goal past Eiser. Not deterred in the slightest, however, the Captain’s offense was able to get a score of their own less than ten minutes later off the head of freshman #20 Molly Beegle. Sophomore #8 Emily Talotta won herself an assist on the play with a beautiful cross into box, and Beegle was there to finish. Beegle is the second freshman to score her first goal of the season this weekend, adding her name to the list of impressive freshman talent the Captains have manager to foster this year.
The half quieted down for awhile, with neither team winning meaningful possessions in the midfield. The Captain’s attempted to close out the game with a flurry of shots in the final minutes, but the Dickinson defense was able to hold on and send the game to overtime. These missed opportunities would come back to bite the Captain’s in overtime.
The extra twenty minutes were not enough for either offense to find a way through the two lockdown defenses, and the game ended 1-1.
This is the second consecutive draw for Dickinson College, with their 1-1 match against Virginia Wesleyan University the night before.
Although the Captains escaped the weekend with their undefeated streak unbroken, they do break their four-game shutout streak.
Until the Captains can sort out their midfield miscues and find a more consistent way of attacking their opponents’ defenses, they will have to continue to rely on dominant performances from Eiser and the rest of the backline. If the last five games are any indicator, however, it could be a recipe for success.
The Captains will host Methodist University on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. before heading to San Antonio, Texas for their next two games.
~Matthew Scherger, Editor-in-Chief~