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2018 Women’s Soccer Season: Winning and Looking Ahead

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2018 Women’s Soccer Season: Winning and Looking Ahead

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The Moravian College Women’s Soccer season started with a non-conference game against Cortland State University.

The Hounds, who last year got off to an incredible start, wanted to begin the season the same way. Unfortunately, Moravian fell short against Cortland 2-1 in the second 15 minutes of overtime.  

But Moravian did not let dropping the first game shake their confidence, as they posted an impressive 6-1-1 record in September.

Besides the game against Stockton, the Hounds’ first 3 games that month did not prove much of a challenge. They beat Alvernia and Bryn Mawr by a combined score of 6-0 but played Stockton to a 1-1 draw.

The Hounds went on to win their next four games by a total score of 17-1. On that run, they beat Muhlenberg, Keystone, and Albright in non-conference matchups and beat Juniata in Landmark conference play.

Entering the important Landmark Conference game against Susquehanna to end the month, Moravian was in fine form to take on the River Hawks.

The game against Susquehanna is one that the Hounds would have liked to have won, considering Susquehanna is one of the top teams in the Landmark Conference. In a game that took place at John Makuvek Field, Moravian lost by a score of 1-0. The Hounds fought hard but couldn’t muster any offense whatsoever, presented as they were with only a few good scoring opportunities.

In the months following, Moravian competed against the Scranton Royals. This home game was one where the Hounds wanted to show that they could compete with the best teams in the conference. Once again, they couldn’t get anything going on in the offensive end.

In the two biggest games of the season, Moravian did not score a single goal against the two best teams. However, they went on to defeat Elizabethtown College 2-1. They were now 2-2 in the Landmark Conference.  

The next two games got the Greyhounds going a little bit as they played Drew University to a 2-2 draw and then beat Marywood University 6-0. Moravian then lost to Catholic 1-0 as the offensive struggles against the top three teams within the conference continued. That loss left them in a situation where they needed to rely on another team to get into the postseason. Moravian needed to beat Goucher College, and Catholic would have to beat Elizabethtown, both of which happened, getting Moravian into the Landmark Conference playoffs.

There, Moravian earned the 4th seed and another match against the Scranton College Royals. Moravian did change the game plan they had the first time they faced Scranton but to no avail, as Moravian lost  2-0.

The players for Moravian that stood out this year were Megan Chesney ‘22, Gabby Stelzmiller ‘19, Shae Duka ‘19, Aimee Manley ‘19, and Paige Weiss ‘20.

Chesney had seven goals and four assists and was helpful in any position. Manley ‘19, a midfielder, got things going for the Greyhounds. With her passing and dribbling skills at midfield, she pushed the pace and put the attacking players in the best position to score or continue play. Also, her off-field presence for the team was huge, as she was the main senior leader for the team.  

The next three players were all honored with All Conference team selections. Weiss ‘20 was selected from Landmark All Conference Second team this season. Weiss had been fantastic for the Greyhounds in her previous two years and this year was no different.

Duka ‘19 was given Landmark All Conference Second team honors as well.  Duka was more of a holding midfielder, focusing on being the first challenge that attacking players faced before they got to the defense. Duka was terrific at tracking all over the field and winning back the ball for Moravian, whether it be going high or taking the ball off players’ feet.

Stelzmiller ‘19, who was given Landmark All Conference first team honors, was the conference leader in assists with ten and was second on Moravian with five goals. Up top, she was able to use her incredible ball control, soccer IQ and pace to tear up opposing defenses. Stelzmiller in her career has had 16 goals and 18 assists.

Next year, the Hounds will have to find a way to work around the holes these seniors will leave, but with Jeff Ykoruk at the helm the Greyhounds should be able to field another team capable of contending for a Landmark Conference championship.  

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