Hazleton, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton Women's Soccer kicked off the 2018 season with a bang on Sunday afternoon, notching a 6-1 victory over Pratt Institute. Four Lady Lions found the back of the net as Hazleton cruised to a wire to wire victory led by senior Katie Oldziejewski (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.). Oldziejewski picked up right where she left off last season as Hazleton's top goal scorer, tallying her first hat trick of the season and fourth career three goal effort.
Hazleton got off to a fast start sending in three first half scores to pull ahead of Pratt in the early stages of play. Senior Ariel Rowlands (Dorrance, Pa.) converted the Lions first score of the season on a through ball from junior Kasey Jackson (Sinking Spring, Pa.) in the third minute of action. Just seven minutes later the Lions were back on the attack when senior Lauren Degler (Oley Valley, Pa.) played a long ball up the right side to Oldziejewski. The senior took a pair of touches into right side of the box before firing a brilliant shot across the box and into the left side netting giving Hazleton a 2-0 advantage. Capping Hazleton's first half run was freshman Emma Wyllie (Benton, Pa.), cashing in on a through ball sent into the middle of the box. The freshman played the ball in stride, smashing the ball into the upper right 90 and giving the Lions a three goal cushion.
But Pratt would gain some momentum as the first half wound down. The Cannoneers earned three straight corner kicks in the final minutes, culminating in a buzzer beating shot lofted into the upper left corner of the goal by Carlyle MacDonald to trim the lead to 3-1 in favor of Hazleton.
That Cannoneer success would be short-lived as play resumed and fans were treated to a dominant second half effort by the Lady Lions. Junior Breann Fetterman (Mountain Top, Pa.) would connect twice with Oldziejewski to extend the lead. Fetterman would find the senior forward on a through ball in the 48th minute to erase the Pratt score from the end of the first half and five minutes later the duo would strike again, this time on a crossing pass giving Oldziejewski the hat trick and extending the Hazleton lead to 5-1. Lauren Degler would cap off the Lion's run to victory in the 67th minute, dribbling up field and striking a shot from the left side of the 18 into the right side netting. Hazleton would out-shoot the Cannoneers 12-1 in the final frame, to capture the 6-1 win in convincing fashion.
The Lady Lions will look to add another tally to the win column as they continue non-conference play on Tuesday, September 4. Hazleton with a 4:00 p.m. match against Union County College.