GREENVILLE, PA. - After a streak of frustratingly close losses, the Franciscan University of Steuebenville Lady Baron soccer team brought it all together Thursday, beating Thiel 31.
The win came after a 3-2 overtime loss just two days before.
"I am very, very proud of the girls. They trusted the system that we've been trying to play," said head coach Johann Marin. "They continue to trust me as their coach and most of all the girls to their left and their right."
The team's trust paid off despite starting their third string goalie and playing a few players at new positions.
Marin said for the first time this season his team was able to control the ball in the midfield and make timely passes instead of forcing the ball down field.
"We scored more goals today because we were actually patient with the soccer ball and played a less direct style of soccer," Marin said. "Our offense was coordinated because they waited, instead of rushing the play."
The focus on coordinated play created better chances for multiple players on the Lady Baron attack to get scoring opportunities. Entering Thursday's game, Ashley Ruttencutter scored five out of the seven Lady Baron goals on the season. She added a sixth goal to her total in the seventy-sixth minute.
That goal added to the lead after Lauren Stearman scored in the fourth minute and another from Katherine Roemer in the fifty-first minute made it 2-1.
"We're making it a point to not play through Ashley, because teams are going to cut her down and start double teaming her," Marin said about the importance of balanced scoring.
Franciscan's defense had an equally impressive performance protecting goalie Michele Volk, allowing just two shots on goal.
"It's been a very, very tough week for our team so we just want to thank everyone who has been praying for us, we'd like to thank the staff for supporting us, and we'd like to thank our trainer, Kelly Gaughan for getting our girls back to health," Marin said.
The Lady Barons (2-4) try for their third win of the season at home on Saturday against Ohio Wesleyan at 1 p.m.
Franciscan men shut out
STEUBENVILLE - With a single day's recovery from their last game, the Franciscan men's soccer team took on the Thiel College Tomcats and suffered another loss, the final score 5-0.
"An early goal from Thiel in the first half put us back on our heels and made the team afraid to take risks," head coach Ward Rogers said.
The Barons struggled to find goal scoring opportunities and let in another goal, making the score 2-0 at halftime. Losing forward, Brian Bobek in the second half due to illness only made things harder on the Baron's and the Tomcats put in another three shots.
Rogers said that Bobek, midfielder Jesse Salterelli, and defender John Herrmann all put forth strong effort on both ends of the field, but the men struggled to recover on defense whenever the team lost possession.
The Barons take on Hiram is Saturday at 4 p.m.