Women’s soccer sweeps JCU Classic

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Shannon Snyder

Forward Ashley Debeljak prepares to volley a shot against John Carroll University.

Sonya Narla, Assistant Sports Editor

Case Western Reserve University’s women’s soccer team did just what they needed to do this weekend – demonstrate offensive strength and, ultimately, win. When offensive veterans Jen Soo Hoo, Ana Arruda, and Kaitlyn Yule graduated last year, they left a void in the Spartan forward lineup. Any questions, however, about filling this gap can be squashed. The Spartans beat Oberlin College 4-0 on Friday and Grove City 2-1 on Saturday of the John Carroll University tournament weekend.

The match against Oberlin was a game of firsts. Freshmen forward Leah Levey scored her second career goal in the eighth minute and sophomore forward Ashley Debeljak scored her first career goal early in the second half for the second goal of the game. These two finishes are crucial for the Spartans; new players stepping up and scoring goals is exactly what the team needs and shows great potential for the rest of the season. Rebecca Vaughan scored the third goal of the game, giving the Spartans a 3-0 lead in the 65th minute. Three minutes later, Frannie Hogan ended any though of a come back as she slotted her own goal.

Judging by the way the Spartans played, it would be hard to believe that finishing was ever an issue for them. The Spartans had a total of 11 shots on goal. Oberlin didn’t stand a chance. The Spartan defense was also clearly working hard, limiting Oberlin to five shots on goal and preventing them from penetrating the backline.

The trend of impressive play carried onto Saturday in the Spartan’s matchup against Grove City College. The Spartan’s second match was much more balanced; Grove City actually outshot CWRU 13-10. Shots only matter when they go in the goal, and in that aspect the Spartans were clearly better, returning home with a 2-1 win.

Sophomore newcomer Erica Sackett made herself known by assisting Vaughan in the first goal of the game in the eighth minute. Right before the end of the first half, freshmen forward Paige Strang wove a pass through to Hogan, who then scored, putting the Spartans up 2-0. Grove City’s Hannah Yang, showed up for the Wolverines by scoring with thirty minutes remaining, the Spartans were able to maintain the lead.

The Spartans’ standout star of the weekend is split between Hogan and Vaughan. Vaughan had two goals and one assist for the weekend, and Hogan rang in with two goals herself.

Hogan had a modest take of the weekend and said, “[it] was a great blend of fun and growth. We were excited about the wins but also realized areas in which we need to improve. Hopefully we’ll build on that momentum for our upcoming games.”

This kind of attitude has the potential to take the Spartans far. As they continuously work on improving their game, even when it’s good, consistency will follow. The Spartans play their first conference game on October 2nd against Brandeis University. Until then, they have four non-conference games in which they can fine-tune their skills so they can match last year’s stellar UAA performance.