Early Goals Sink Women's Soccer in Season Opener

Early Goals Sink Women's Soccer in Season Opener

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Castleton women's soccer team saw its bid at a season-opening road victory slip away as the Spartans fell to Plattsburgh State, 2-0, in the first contest of the 2017 season for both squads on Friday night at the Cardinals Field House Soccer Complex. 

Plattsburgh State (1-0) scored a pair of early first-half goals and was able to hold off the Spartans for the victory. Madeline Saccocio tallied both goals for the Cardinals, giving her team momentum that the Spartans were unable to recover from.  

Castleton (0-1) came away with an early chance to get on the board in the ninth minute, as Bronwen Hopwood found an opening and lifted a shot that sailed just wide of the goal. Less than four minutes later, Rachel Keefer chipped a shot just beyond the goal post to keep the game scoreless.

Plattsburgh State struck first in the 15th minute. Saccochio received a pass from Ernesta McIntosh and snuck one past Spartan goalkeeper Loren Henderson to give the home team an early advantage. Just over six minutes later, Saccochio was at it again, this time finishing an opportunity on a loose ball deep in the offensive zone. Cait Gagen was credited with the assist that doubled the Cardinals' lead. The Spartan defense buckled down from there and Henderson stopped the final three shots she faced in the half to keep the score 2-0 after 45 minutes of play.

Castleton came out with a strong offensive approach in the second half, outshooting Plattsburgh 3-1 over the first 25 minutes. Keefer had the first opportunity for either side just minutes into the frame, but her right-footed shot from just inside the 18-yard box sailed into the waiting hands of Plattsburgh State goalkeeper Nicole Gibson. Julia Carone looked to capitalize on another opportunity in the 64th minute, but Gibson tucked away another save.

Neither team was able to pull through in the back-and-forth frame, as Plattsburgh State went on to win, 2-0. The Spartans outshot the Cardinals, 5-2, in the second half but could not find the back of the net. Keefer led the way with two shots on goal, while Mikayla Sullivan and Dallas Brodhead also forced saves out of Gibson. Henderson finished with seven saves in net for Castleton. Rachel Shambo saw 20 minutes of action in net and tallied one save for the Spartans. 

The Spartans will return home to face Westfield State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.