Hazleton, Pa. - A cold and heavy downpour shortened the game but failed to dampen the spirits of the Lady Lions (3-6) as they dominated possession in Friday's contest with the University of Valley Forge (2-13). Hazleton consistently kept the ball in Patriot territory, applying pressure at every turn that lead to a 15-1 margin in shots on goal and a 11-0 advantage in corner kicks resulting in their third victory of the inaugural season by the final score of 7-1.
It didn't take long for the Lady Lions to tally their first corner kick of the game as they pressed downfield and went on the attack. Sophomore Lauren Degler (Oley, Pa.) drilled a low bullet into the box, flicked on by sophomore Katie Oldziejewski (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) to the waiting sophomore Kadijatu Bah (Lehigh Valley, Pa.) who one timed the ball past the patriot keeper to get Hazleton on the plus side. Hazleton continued to control the ball, reeling off 14 shot attempts in the next 28 minutes of play before freshman Breann Fetterman (Mountain Top, Pa.) cashed in on a crossing pass from Degler. Taking her sixth corner kick of the half, Degler found the ball deflected back at her and played a beautiful crossing pass to the midfielder as she crashed the box. Fetterman lined up the ball in mid air, heading the ball into the net to give Hazleton a 2-0 lead. Just moments later the rain picked up, but so did the play of Oldziejewski as she collected a deflection in the Valley Forge box, dribbled past a defender and fired low left for her first score of the afternoon and giving Hazleton a 3-0 cushion heading into the break.
As the steady rain pummeled the field, the Lady Lions remained un-phased and just three minutes into the second half action began to pounce on Patriot miscues. Freshman Meghann Principe (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) forced a turnover in the Hazleton backfield and immediately played the ball deep down the left sideline, springing Fetterman for a one on one opportunity with the Patriot keeper. Fetterman knocked in the score with her left foot and Hazleton was off to the races with a 4-0 lead.
Katie Oldziejewski had scored just once on seven shot attempts to this point but all that would change in the 52nd minute. The sophomore forward would connect on three of her next four shot attempts, notching her second hat-trick of the season and put the game well out of reach for the Lady Lion's opponent. Oldziejewski would tack on her second goal of the game on a pass from Fetterman, then 12 minutes later after a series of four corner kicks by sophomore Jenna Semmel (Burlington, Nj.), added her third score. In the 67th minute Fetterman and Oldziejewski were at it again, teaming up for their second connection of the half, to bolster their lead to 7-0.
Amidst the jubilation and comfortable lead, Hazleton would slip up on the ensuing kickoff, allowing Valley Forge to penetrate their defenses for the first time all afternoon. Kelsey Morrison collected a deflection and drove towards the net, firing a low dart to bottom right corner for the Patriots lone goal, spoiling the shut-out worthy effort of the Lady Lions. As play resumed, the effects of the punishing rain became evident leading the the eventual calling of the contest in the 75th minute.
Oldziejewskie secured her place in the record books, reaching double figures in the season scoring column with her highest offensive output of the season, notching four goals and an assist to lead all scorers. Kadijatu Bah and Breann Fetterman both recorded their first scores of the season with Fetterman adding two assists, matching Degler for the team high in the passing category.
No rest for the weary as the Lady Lions are back in action on Saturday, October 22. Hazleton will travel to Penn State Mont Alto for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff with the fourth ranked team in the Penn State University Athletic Conference.