Hazleton, Pa. - Saturday was a day for celebration at Penn State Hazleton when the Lady Lions took the field for their first official action in United States Collegiate Athletic Association Women's Soccer. Hazleton left the field with a loss at the hands of the SUNY Delhi Broncos by the final score of 4-0, but an impressive second half effort left all feeling good about the direction of the program.
"I've asked the team to always focus and that level of determination will define our success. Today I saw just that.", Coach Shadle stated after the game. "I'm very proud of the team's effort, particularly in the second half. We have a talented group of young players and we look forward to continuing to develop as a squad."
The opening 45 minutes were dominated offensively by the Broncos, consistently controlling the ball in Hazleton territory. Delhi's Katie Herba, fresh off a two score game in her last outing against St. Joseph's of Vermont, reeled off five first half shots on target, notching three goals for the first half hat-trick the put the Broncos comfortably ahead by the score of 3-0.
Hazleton came out with renewed life in the second half, pushing the ball forward and competing defensively, forcing a second half stalemate until the 84 minute mark in the period. With just six minutes to play, Courtney Hart made a run down the center of the field receiving a crossing pass from Sara Yambor to tally the final scoring play of the afternoon and putting the Broncos up 4-0.
Herba converted seven shots on goal for three first half scores while teammate Hart notched one goal on four shots in the afternoon. Megan Moody, Samantha St. Dennis and Courtney Yando each assisted on Herba's goals, with Yambor assisting on the second half tally.
Hazleton managed just two shots on target, both in the second half coming off the feet of freshman Breann Fetterman (Mountain Top, Pa.) and Madison Polumbo (Hazleton, Pa.). Sophomore netminder Juliann Earnest faced 17 shots on goal throughout the contest, coming up with 13 saves in the loss.
The Lady Lions will regroup and hit the road on Labor Day for the second contest of the season. Hazleton will travel south to face Central Penn College on Monday, September 5 at 4:00 p.m. in Harrisburg, Pa.