(Posted October 29, 2006)

Widener 5, Juniata 0 HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Both the Juniata College and Widener University women\'s soccer teams needed victories to earn a spot in the Commonwealth postseason entering Saturday\'s match. Despite a spirited Juniata rally, Widener scored three early goals to seize momentum, and held on to hand Juniata a 5-1 set-back. The loss ends the most successful regular-season in Juniata history as the Eagles finished 10-8-1 overall and 2-5 in the conference, while Widener improved to 13-5-1 and 4-3 in Commonwealth play. The match was also Juniata\'s final contest as part of the Commonwealth Conference as the Eagles will begin competing in the newly-formed Landmark Conference beginning next fall. The team\'s conference finale got off to a bad start as the Pride came out strong controlling the tempo and pace of the game early on and broke through in the fourth minute of the game as Lauren Hartman beat goalie Lisa Russo (Lakeland/Haskell, NJ) near post to jump out to the early 1-0 lead. Kathy Orme assisted on the score. Hartman would keep the pressure on the Juniata defense as she got free in the 11th minute of the game and added her second goal of the game putting a shot in the top left hand corner to extend the Prideâ??s lead to 2-0. Five minutes later off a corner kick, Samantha Hand found the ball in the middle of the box and drilled Widenerâ??s third goal of the game to take a commanding 3-0 lead. The Juniata offense finally got its first break of the game when a Widener defender inadvertently had a hand ball in the box leading to a penalty kick for the Eagles. Senior Alicia Walsh (Latrobe/Latrobe) would set up for the kick and drilled it past goal keeper Kelli Quinn to get the Eagles on the board and back into the game at 3-1. However, that would be as close as the Eagles got as Widener added another goal in the first half when Stacey Vaitis flicked in a header off another Baer corner, and then Kim Sharpless added an unassisted tally midway through the second half to make the score 5-1. Russo finished with a pair of saves in net for the Blue and Gold. Juniata finished with eight shots in the contest, but the Eagles did not force Quinn to make a save. The Juniata soccer program also honored its three seniors on Sunday as co-captains Walsh and Kelly Howard (Bishop McCort/Johnstown) were recognized as well as Kristen Yohn (Indian Valley/Reedsville). The trio helped Juniata establish a new program-record for wins in their senior season, and also have the team eligible for ECAC postseason play. The ECAC tournament field will be announced Monday, Nov. 6. ###

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