(Posted October 25, 2006)

Messiah 3, Juniata 0 HUNTINGDON, Pa. â?? For 60 minutes the Juniata College women\'s soccer team held third-ranked Messiah College off the scoreboard, but three goals in a 10-minute span mid-way through the second half ended up being the difference as the Eagles fell by a 3-0 score in Commonwealth action Wednesday afternoon. Juniata is now 10-7-1 on the year and 2-4 in the conference, while the Falcons raised their record to 13-1 overall and 6-0 in conference play. Despite the visiting team firing off 13 shots in the first half, Juniata was able to get into halftime with the match knotted at zero. A combination of five saves from Juniata keeper Lisa Russo (Lakeland/Haskell, N.J.) and some strong all-around play from Juniata\'s back line kept Messiah from breaking through. Juniata on the other hand was able to get off three shots in the half, forcing Messiah keeper Cassie Grose into making three saves. The visitors were inches away from getting the first goal of the match just a few seconds before halftime when off a corner kick Steff Rowe fired a shot that beat Russo but was cleared off the line by Juniata defender Heather McMinn (Indian Valley/Reedsville). Messiah turned up the pressure in the second half, as the Falcons locked down the midfield and controlled the possession. That led to the Falcons getting the first goal of the match when a low cross from Amy Horst was driven in front and Rowe redirected it home in the 61st minute. Rowe struck again seven minutes later when she settled a Savannah Stolzenburg pass in the box and drove a shot past Russo for her second goal. She completed the hat-trick in the 71st minute when Avie Fitzgerald played a ball over the top that she ran on to and slid into the corner to give the Falcons the final margin. Russo made two more saves in the second half, giving her seven for the match. Juniata managed one shot in the second half, but could not get it on frame as Messiah keeper Brindley Beckwith played the final 45 minutes to complete the shutout. The Eagles will close their regular-season schedule on Saturday when they host Widener University for a Commonwealth match. A win for Juniata would likely earn the team its first-ever conference postseason berth. ###

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