ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Despite a pair of half-hour lightning delays, the Saint Leo women’s soccer team (2-0-1, 1-0 SSC) cruised to a 6-0 Sunshine State Conference victory over the Eckerd College Tritons (0-3-1, 0-1 SSC), Saturday evening from the Turley Athletic Complex.
The Lions’ offense exploded for six goals and 30 shots on the evening, including a four-point effort by junior Malloree Enoch. Dari Alcantara connected for her first goal of the 2009 campaign, as did Jasmine Johnson and junior Rachael McQuade. Sophomore Pia Soesemann had a three point night, tallying her second goal of the year, while senior forward Hannah Beard made her presence known with a late goal to close-out all scoring. After a pair of first half goals, SLU put Eckerd away with a four-spot in the second half.
Johnson set the tone early for the Lions, scoring the first goal of the game in the 20th minute. The sophomore forward dribbled hard around one opponent near the top, right side of the 18-yard box where she unloaded on a shot that blew past the Tritons’ goalkeeper. Alcantara answered Johnsons’ shot with a blast of her own in the 33rd minute. Sophomore Chrissy Darwell played the ball from the top of the 18-yard box out to Alcantara. The defender settled the ball at her foot and blasted a shot past a diving goalie from about 25 yards out.
The heat only increased on the Tritons in the second half. In the 55th minute, Enoch delivered one of the more spectacular goals of the night, as she dribbled the ball around three defenders on the far right edge of the 18-yard box, and while in-stride sent a rocket over the goaltenders head into the upper left corner of the net. Enoch wasn’t done though, sending a cross from the right wing into the six-yard box. It was volleyed out of the air by McQuade who struck into the back of the net for the first goal of her Saint Leo playing career.
The Fairview, Oregon native made it four consecutive points, as her and Soesemann broke free with a two-on-one fast break. With control of the ball, Enoch pressed the Eckerd goaltender into playing a possible shot. At the last moment though, she dished the ball to Soesemann who snuck it underneath the goalie to make it 5-0. The Lions put the finishing touches on the impressive victory in the 87th minute. On the second consecutive two-on-one advantage for SLU, Beard placed her second goal of the season into the back of the net off a feed from Soesemann.
Defensively, Saint Leo held Eckerd to just six shots all game, and only three made it on-goal.
Lions’ goaltender Cristina Coca preserved the win and recorded her first collegiate victory in net for the Green & Gold, compiling three saves and her first shutout.
The Lions totaled 12 corner kicks and closed the game with 15 shots-on-goal.
With their first conference victory under their belts, Saint Leo gears up for their biggest test of the season as Rollins visits University Field on Wednesday, September 23. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The two SSC foes met in last year’s SSC Tournament and although regulation ended in a 1-1 stalemate, overtime penalty kicks gave SLU the win and a berth in the finals.