By Andrew Zuhosky
After losing to Army West Point in New York last Friday, the Youngstown State soccer team hoped that Sunday afternoon’s home opener against St. Mary’s College of California would mark a return to the win column.
In the 70th minute of play, St. Mary’s broke a scoreless tie when junior midfielder Samantha Dion converted on a cross from Anyssa Dominguez to put the Gaels ahead to stay in a 1-0 loss for the Penguins. YSU goalkeeper Elizabeth Balgoyen tried stopping the ball, but at the last minute a St. Mary’s player collided with her, and Balgoyen couldn’t reach the ball before it crossed the line.
Sunday’s result gave YSU its second loss of the season, putting the team at a 2-2 record. St. Mary’s continued a four-match undefeated streak on Sunday, giving them a 3-0-1 record to start the campaign.
St. Mary’s outshot YSU by a 13-5 margin and won three corner kicks while YSU didn’t take a corner kick throughout the game.
Statistically, YSU was led in the stats column by sophomore forward Katie Hackos, who took two of the team’s five shot attempts in the match. Freshman forward Alison Green and junior Shannon Leghart registered YSU’s two shots on goal in Sunday’s match.
Freshman goalkeeper Elizabeth Balgoyen followed up an eight-save performance on Friday by stopping four out of the five St. Mary’s attempts in Sunday’s match, giving her 12 saves to begin the season. Balgoyen is starting because starting goalkeeper Katie Montgomery is out with a concussion.
Dion and junior forward Kiana Quolas, who each took three shot attempts and combined for three shots on target, led St. Mary’s in the stats. St. Mary’s goalie Julia McDonald had two saves for the Gaels en route to the shutout.
After the contest, which snapped a three-match unbeaten run for YSU at home, senior midfielder Karlee Kline talked about the importance of getting back in the win column this Friday against Central Michigan University.
“We’ve had a record at home, a winning streak at home, so it’s pretty tough on all of us,” Kline said. “So we’ve just got to shake it off and start a new streak at home and away.”
The upcoming schedule for YSU brings the remainder of an eight-game home stand at Farmer’s National Bank Field. Kline thinks those matches will serve as a good test for the team before Horizon League play begins.
“We have seven straight home games coming up in September,” she said. “We play Central Michigan on Friday night, so that should be pretty tough. Our non-conference schedule is going to be tough, so I think it’s going to get us ready for our conference games.”
YSU will play the Central Michigan Chippewas next on Aug. 4 at Farmer’s National Bank Field, with a 7 p.m. kickoff, followed by a Sunday matinee against the Robert Morris University Colonials. Kickoff on Sunday is set for 1 p.m.