STEUBENVILLE, OH – Smart passing and effective chemistry gave the Lady Barons soccer team a solid 2-0 win over the Bethany College Bisons.
The FUS team opened the first half, keeping play concentrated on Bethany's half. Although they dCenterfield owned the ball and positioned play.
"Megan Reiderer and Megan Luiso just showed up to play today," head coach Clare McBane said. "We told them halfway through that this game was going to come down to what we did in the center of the field and they definitely did a good job of connecting in the middle."
McBane added that the two freshmen have continued to improve their chemistry with each game of the season.
Senior forward Jordan Byerly supported centerfield, giving both center-mids a consistent open option, and smashing down the sideline towards Bethany's defense. Byerly's high energy run after run was rewarded with the team's first goal towards the end of the first half.
"Jordan Byerly is every coach's dream in the fact that she works so hard," McBane said. She's always ready to hear advice on how to improve and she puts that advice into effect by training with it."
Reiderer and Luiso also relied on senior midfielder Julia Cocozza. 19 minutes into the second half, Cocozza popped off a shot which the Bethany keeper caught but was unable to control. Freshman forward Susanna Almeida finished the ball, bringing the score up to 2-0.
"If Julia's name is not on the score board for goals and assists, it's because she was the playmaker," McBane said. "She did a great job of dropping back and aiding in the center."
As the offensive chemistry clicked, the defense stepped up their game to stay ahead of Bethany's speedy forwards.
"One of Bethany's greater strengths was that both their forwards are very fast, very aggressive and work very well together," McBane said. "It really challenged Monica Dawyot and Calene Dougherty to fix some of the mistakes we made in the backline the other day. They did exactly what I wanted and I couldn't be prouder.
Although the team delivered well, McBane expects greater things to come. As the season progresses, the Lady Barons will focus on translating possessive and aggressive play into effective shots on goal.
"I think they played well, but I don't think they played great yet," McBane said. "On a lot of the goals, we went for the first option, the easiest option. We're a smart team and I want them to start focusing on finding the second and less predictable option."
The Lady Barons will play the Thiel Tomcats in Greeenville, PA at 6pm on Monday, September 15.