By: B.J. Pheasant, Assistant Soccer Coach
(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The third-ranked Thomas More College women's soccer team hosted the opening game of the NCAA tournament on Friday, November 11th against Penn State-Behrend. With the 3-1 final score line the Saints improve to 21-0-1 overall and move to the next round of the NCAA tournament tomorrow, Saturday, November 12th at 1 p.m. With the loss Penn State-Behrend falls to 16-5.
"It was a great team performance against a good opponent," said TMC head coach Jeff Cummings. "Despite the adversity we have faced this season the team put together a 90 minute game. We played well defensively and created enough chances."
Friday was a bright sunny day, but a cutting wind let fans know that fall is here. The Saints had a slow start allowing a goal just two minutes into the game to fall behind. With an injury on the play the Saints played with ten on the field for eight minutes as the medical staff worked to determine if the Saints would be down a fourth starter on the season. The seniors responded to the challenge with grit and determination.
In the 5th minute Taylor Robinson (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) drove the length of the field to earn a corner kick. In the 8th minute Josie Perrino (Tracey, Calif./St. Mary's) put pressure on the defense with a breakaway created off pressure. Perrino pressured all game and was a thorn in the defense not allowing them to get comfortable. In the 14th minute Erika LaRosa (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) cleaned up a free kick in the box to bring the Saints level 1-1.
In the 22nd minute Shaye Isaacs (Nicholasville, Ky./West Jessamine) carried the ball up the field 60 yards before laying it off to Lauren Rose (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West). The resulting cross was headed home by LaRosa for a 2-1 lead the Saints would not relinquish. A third goal came in the 33rd minute as a LaRosa cross was finished by Isaacs at the back post for a 3-1 lead as LaRosa bossed the game.
In the second half Thomas More closed the door defensively. In the 59th minute Megan Sheridan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) hit the crossbar. In the 84th minute Laura Felix (Burlington, Ky./St. Henry) beat five players down the right side and put in a cross to LaRosa in the vicinity of the back post.
The second round of the NCAA tournament will be played in Crestview Hills, Kentucky on the cmapus of Thomas More College. Thomas More College is in the second round game at 1p.m. The Saints' opponent will be determined by the result of the second game in the pod between Hope College and 2014 national champion Lynchburg College. If you aren't able to make it out to the game live video and stats are available with links found on TMCSaints.com on the women's soccer schedule page