September 10, 2011

Women's soccer off to best start ever

It's a simple formula ... and it is working very, very well for the Hamline women's soccer team. The Pipers patiently waited for opportunities Saturday afternoon against undefeated UW-Platteville. They made the most of those chances and earned a 2-0 victory over the Pioneers. The perfect 4-0 start is the best known break from the gate in school history.

Natalie Cooper (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) and Marina Nelson (Fy., Ft. Collins, Colo.) scored the second half goals that were the difference in the game. Liz Stock (Sr., Savage, Minn.) and Erin Urbanowicz (Fr., Gresham, Ore.) shared the shutout, their third co-blanking of the year. the strong defense has been the key to this early success. the Pipers have outscored their foes 13-1 in this nifty run.

As was the case Wednesday at River Falls, the first half was scoreless. Nearly 10 minutes into the second stanza, Cooper broke that tie with a tumbling shot from about 15 yards away. Courtney McMoore (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn.) and Aileen Koulentis (So., Gresham, Ore.) drew assists. With 10 minutes left in the game, Nelson added the clincher, finishing off passes from heather Hollinger (Fy., Las Vegas, NV) and Aileen Scheibner (Fy., Woodbury, Minn.).

The stout Piper defense took over from there. UWP was held to just two shots on goal in the game.

It was about as good a warmup as one could imagine for the MIAC season. Hamline opens the conference wars Wednesday against Concordia at Paterson Field at 4:00 p.m. The men play first at 2:00 p.m.