By: Josh Bozzick ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier women’s soccer team opened the new season last week with a 2-0 win over Evansville. The victory was the second straight win for Xavier, which defeated the Purple Aces last year 3-2 in overtime.
Senior defender Courtney Kobashigawa scored in the 29th minute. It was the first goal of her college career and came off an assist from junior forward Kenadie Carlson. Sophomore Emily Calvani passed to Carlson out of the corner kick set piece.
In the 34th minute, junior midfielder Maddie Tierney scored a second goal for Xavier. This time it came out of a penalty kick, which marked the second goal of her career. When the final whistle blew, Xavier had notched the victory over Evansville.
On Sunday afternoon Xavier was away at Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels did not put up much of a fight, as the Musketeers won 2-0. In the 18th minute, senior forward Tori Doss scored her first goal of the season and 10th of her career thanks to the setup from sophomore forward Samantha Dewey. Midway through the second half, freshman forward Courtney Lankford scored off a cross in the 69th minute from sophomore Emily Calvani. It was Lankford’s first collegiate goal. The win marked the second year in a row the Musketeers have beaten the Colonels, whom they defeated 4-0 last year at home.
What should be noted in both contests is the support senior goalkeeper Rachel Piccus provided in net. Thanks to stellar play from the Musketeer defensive line, few shots from both the Purple Aces and the Colonels were on goal. She collected three saves in both matches and now has nine complete- game shutouts in her career, with 12 wins as a goalie overall. On Monday Piccus was named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Week.
Last season the Musketeers finished the year 8-9-1 (3-6 Big East). The 2015 campaign was a successful one, even though the team finished in seventh place in the Big East. The eight wins doubled those of the 2014 season, and it was the Musketeers’ best finish in Big East play since joining the conference in 2013. Xavier also scored 28 goals last season, which was the most goals scored in a season since 2006. As a result, expectations for the 2016 team are higher than they have been in a while.
The Musketeers are back in action this Friday in an away match against Ball State. The contest will be the second one of an ongoing four-game road trip for Xavier, which will continue with a match against the University of Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon.