RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Freshmen Kasey Crow and Courtney Young scored the first goals of their collegiate careers and Alex Davis added an insurance marker with just under 7.5 minutes to play to lift the University of Rio Grande past West Liberty (W.Va.) State University, 3-1, Wednesday night, in women’s soccer action at Evan E. Davis Field.
The victory was the first for the RedStorm after a pair of losses to open the season.
“It’s nice to get one under our belts. We needed it,” said Rio Grande head coach Callum Morris. “I thought we should’ve buried them inside the first 15 minutes because we had the chance to—literally. We tend to make it hard on ourselves by playing to the level of our opponent, rather than to our own ability.”
Rio Grande, which had managed just 10 shots overall and one shot on goal in its two losses, peppered West Liberty goalkeeper Rachel Coles for eight first half shots—including six in the first 15 minutes of the match—but came away empty-handed each time.
Coles finished with five saves in the half.
“We’d focused on being more offensive-minded in our training over the past few days,” Morris said. “The way the first 15 minutes went, I thought we had a chance to get into double figures. Fortunately, we were able to get a couple of goals early in the second half.”
Crow, a forward, got the scoring underway just over four minutes into the second half, firing a shot past Hannah Judkins, who took over in goal for the Hilltoppers at the intermission, to give Rio a 1-0 lead at the 49:16 mark.
Sixty-one seconds later, Young—a forward from Ross, Ohio—scored off an assist from fellow freshman, and former Ross High School teammate, Taylor Ahrens, to extend the advantage to 2-0.
Davis, a junior forward and the RedStorm’s second-leading scorer last season, made it 3-0 with 7:26 left in the contest when she scored moments after a shot by Young ricocheted off the hands of Judkins and the crossbar.
West Liberty (1-2) avoided a shutout when Paige Petroval scored on a penalty kick at the 86:42 mark.
Rio Grande finished with 15 shots, including 11 on goal, while seven of the Hilltoppers eight shots were also on goal.
Sophomore keeper Allison Keeney stopped six shots in goal for the RedStorm to pick up the win in her first start of the season.
Judkins stopped three shots in a losing cause for West Liberty.
The win gives Rio a bit of momentum heading into a weekend trip to New York for outings against Roberts Wesleyan on Friday night and Daemen on Saturday afternoon.
“Of course, it’s a boost of confidence for the girls—and we needed it,” Morris said. “We had a couple of girls get the first goals of their careers and it was nice to see Alex back in the scoring column. We need to work on a few things defensively and we need to do a better job of burying our opponent when we get the chance but, overall, it was a good win.”
Kickoff for Friday’s game against Roberts Wesleyan is set for 7 p.m., while Saturday’s tilt with Daemen kicks off at 5 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande. For more information on URG athletics, visit the web at www.rioredstorm.com