By: B.J. Pheasant, Assistant Soccer Coach
(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – Outlined against a bright blue September sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are inscribed in the starting lineup of the Thomas More College Saints.
The Thomas More women's soccer team, ranked ninth, traveled to Pittsburgh to play number two ranked Carnegie Mellon University in an early season contest between highly ranked opponents Saturday. The Saints overcame the Tartans 2-1 to start the season at 2-0 while Carnegie Mellon falls to 1-1. "Today was a great win for TMC women's soccer," said TMC head coach Jeff Cummings. "CMU is a great team that put us under a lot of pressure all game. Our mentality from the opening whistle was huge for us today, it was a defensive battle, with few good chances for either team and we kept battling to the end. We were the lucky ones today with two goals going in."
Coach Cumming's Saints put pressure on the Tartans at the opening whistle and in the seventh minute midfielder Erika LaRosa (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) was first to a loose ball in the middle third, held off a physical challenge and played Lauren Rose (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) into space on the left side. Rose ripped a shot back post upper ninety for the lead. This sparked second ranked CMU into greater offensive effort, but resolute defense by the entire TMC lineup kept the hosts scoreless till halftime.
In the second half the Saints came out with renewed offensive purpose and attacked the Tartans goal. Good pressure by the Saints midfield was a spark for one of the better opportunities by forcing a bad pass that was stolen by forward Julia Flagge-Echols (Colerain, Ohio / Colerain) who raced by the center backs, but the goal keeper deflected the shot. Against the run of play in the 54th minute the home team scored on a deflected free kick that snuck in by the near post past a wrong footed goalie tying the contest.
Three minutes later LaRosa returned the favor with a deflected free kick goal of her own to give the lead back to the Saints. The defense by TMC was fierce for the remainder of the game as the entire team was determined to succeed. The Tartans were not allowed any room to operate in front of the Saints goal as All-American midfielder Laura Felix (Burlington, Ky./St. Henry) ran the show that, at times, included five first-years on the field. The defensive effort by the Saints was a whirlwind of intensity. The finals tallies had six shot for each team with a three to two corner kick advantage to the hosts.
The Saints return for their third game in five days to the friendly confines of BB&T Field on Labor Day to face Capital University at 1:30 p.m. LIVE video and stats are available with links found on TMCSaints.com.