Franciscan womens soccer team honors Amanda Looman

STEUBENVILLE -The Franciscan University of Steubenville womens’ soccer honored a former teammate, Amanda Looman who died early Wednesday from injuries suffered in a car crash on Oct. 13. The team wore wrist bands with Looman’s No. 1 written on them and hung her jersey on the fence over the field in her memory.

Strong winds, bitter cold and fourth-place Penn StateAltoona couldn’t keep the Lady Barons from securing a win for Looman. Rather appropriately the stars of the game were those playing her former position, forward. Franciscan defeated the Lady Lions 2-0, scoring twice in the first half.

The Lady Barons set the tone of the match from the kick off almost scoring within the first few minutes on a long ball to junior forward Jordan Byrley who got to the ball but couldn’t connect.

The Barons repeated the tactic but with better results in the 26th minute when a long punt from goalkeeper Mallory Garthwaite bounced over the Altoona defense. Byrely out sprinted the Lady Lion defenders to get the ball under control and chip it over the oncoming goalie.

“Yesterday all we did was work on lifting the ball over the top to get breakaways,” head coach Clare McBane said. “We’ve got two girls who are very good at breakaways. We started playing to our strengths.”

Ten minutes later, Franciscan’s breakaway part three worked just as perfectly. The Lady Barons defense played a ball high in the center of the field. Byrely showed her speed again and out-stripped Altoona’s defense, before crossing to sophomore Hannah Cooke, who put it away in the back of the net.

“Getting the ball up top was our focus in practice,” McBane said. “Clearly it paid off.”

Baron vball earns conference win

STEUBENVILLE – The Lady Baron volleyball team got a much needed win against Penn State-Altoona who previously trailed FUS by one game in the AMCC rankings. The Lady Barons now sit in second place in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference with a 5-1 record trailing only Penn State Behrend for the top spot.

Franciscan topped the Lions in three games (25-16, 25-17, 25-20) keeping the Lady Lions experienced roster on the run and quieted their main weapon, senior Mariah McDowell who was just named AMCC player of the week for the third time this season.

“They have some very good players,” head coach Kelly Herrmann said. “Mariah is very talented. You can never come into a game like this over confidence. You need to force yourself to play well in order to give yourself a chance to win.”

The Lady Baron middle hitters gave their team the best chance to win as they shined against Altoona. Freshman Ana Tolkach had eight kills and only two errors while freshman Emily Baznik added another eight kills and just one error.

Altoona beats FUS mens soccer

STEUBENVILLE – Baron soccer held strong for 84 minutes against fourth-ranked conference opponent Penn State-Altoona, only to fall 1-0 in the last five minutes of the game. Goalkeeper Edward Huber kept the Baron’s in the game with an impressive tally of clutch saves but his play and well played game by FUS fell just short of what would have been a big conference win.

“They play a similar style to us, but they’re a little bit more direct than we are,” head coach Ward Rogers said. “I think we had them pretty well defended.”