KUTZTOWN | The fourth-ranked Kutztown University women’s soccer team passed its first test, shutting out Seton Hill University 3-0 Tuesday afternoon in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) quarterfinal round at Keystone Field.
Sophomore leading scorers Maddie Mohr and Emily Zwiercan both added to their season totals, and a third sophomore, defender Kristina Miller also found the back of the net for the second time in
three games as the second-seeded Golden Bears (16-2-1 overall) advance to the PSAC semifinals Thursday afternoon at West Chester University to take on the winner of the third seed East Stroudsburg University and the sixth seed Slippery Rock University.
The Golden Rams will host the semifinal and final round as the top seed. They defeated Bloomsburg University 1-0 Tuesday afternoon. In the other quarterfinal, Gannon University beat Indiana (PA) 3-1.
KU jumped on the Griffins (12-6-1) early, and never wavered in this one.
In the 3rd minute, Zwiercan collected a pass near the midfield circle. She made a quick turn and raced down the field with a defender attached to her left hip.
From just inside the 18-yard box, Zwiercan ripped a low shot that found the lower left corner of the net for a quick 1-0 lead.
It was the 13th goal this season for Zwiercan and 18th in her career. She recorded her 50th career point with the goal.
At the time of the goal, Zwiercan tied Mohr for the team-lead. But it didn’t last long.
In the 55th minute, the two connected to give Kutztown a two-goal cushion early in the second half.
Zwiercan found Mohr at the top of the 18. Mohr took one touch, looked up, and lofted a curling effort that went over the outstretched arms of Seton Hill goalie Jessica Neill and just under the crossbar.
It was the 14th goal of the season for Mohr, which is good for third in the PSAC, two behind leading goal scorer Emily LoPresti of Seton Hill, whom the defense held scoreless.
The goal eased some pressure off sophomore goalie Jenna Bracken and her back line. Bracken finished with five saves and was not tested that often as Miller, Morgan Staley, Erica Monte Carlo, Olivia Novak and Anna Hull were stout in helping Bracken pick up the shutout and her 10th win of the season.
Bracken has 20 career wins putting her in fifth place all-time at KU.
The Golden Bears and the Griffins were neck-in-neck in shots, with KU holding a 20-17 advantage and 11-5 on goal.
To add on to a good day for the Maroon and Gold, they rose two spots in the latest United Soccer Coaches National Poll released Tuesday afternoon.
Kutztown comes in at number four, behind Central Missouri, Carson-Newman and California-San Diego who are one-through-three respectively. Quincy University rounds out the top-five.
The Golden Bears will now travel to West Chester Thursday afternoon for the PSAC semifinals. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. They will be the second game of a doubleheader, the first being West Chester and Gannon. KU will take on the winner of Slippery Rock and East Stroudsburg, who play Tuesday night at 6 p.m.