(Posted September 13, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College is used to having certain teams perennially among the ranked Division III programs in their respective sports. Women's soccer may have sent an indication on Saturday afternoon at Winton Hill Field that it really wants to join that group.

Facing its first regionally ranked opponent of the season, Juniata posted a 2-0 shutout over Gettysburg College on Saturday in Huntingdon. The win allowed the Eagles to improve to 4-0-0 on the season, and gave Juniata women's soccer its first win over a regionally ranked opponent. The Bullets entered the game ranked 10th in the Middle Atlantic Region, according to the adidas/National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.

"This was a great win for us, but this means we now have to live up to the expectations set for us," said Juniata head coach Scott McKenzie.

Junior midfielder Shannon Pierce (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown) scored what proved to be the game winner in the game's 60th minute, off an assist from Amanda Broadwell (Newfoundland, N.J./Morris Knolls). Broadwell picked up a rebound off a previous scoring attempt, and fed the ball back to Pierce who put a shot past Gettysburg keeper Danielle St. Pierre.

Elizabeth Van Blarcom (Columbia Cross Roads, Pa./Troy) added an insurance goal to seal the win with just 23 seconds remaining in the contest, with newcomer Aimee Radic (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon) earning the assist. Radic made a run of about 50 yards with the ball, fed it to a wide open Van Blarcom who dribbled the ball past the outstretched St. Pierre for the goal.

The Bullets went on a furious counter-offensive for approximately 20 minutes following Pierce's goal, "throwing everything at us but the kitchen sink" according to McKenzie. But Gettysburg appeared to wear down in the game's waning minutes, opening the door for Juniata to add its second goal.

"I can't give enough credit to all our defenders; they did an outstanding job during that 15 to 20 minute stretch," said McKenzie.

Juniata keeper Lauren Auster-Gussman (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Country Day) earned the win for the Eagles, recording seven saves over her 90 minutes in goal.
St. Pierre recorded two saves while allowing both Juniata goals. One of her saves came on a penalty kick in the 52nd minute, when she blocked an attempt by Caitlin Bigelow (La Mesa, Calif./Academy of Our Lady of Peace).

Gettysburg outshot Juniata 15-7, including a 9-5 advantage in the second half. The Bullets had a 6-3 advantage in corner kick opportunities, and were also whistled offsides on three occasions.

"This win cannot be the high point of our season," said McKenzie. "We're not going to surprise people anymore, and we now have a set of expectations that are higher than what we had yesterday."

Juniata will put its undefeated record on the line again this Tuesday, Sept. 16, when the Eagles host Lycoming College on Winton Hill Field in Huntingdon, Pa.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.