By CRAIG HARVEY
OBSERVER Sports Editor
Through the first three games of the young women's soccer season, Fredonia State got all the breaks.
OBSERVER?Photo by Courtney Gfroerer
Fredonia State’s Mary Bruton (7) fights for possession of the ball with Allegheny’s Ashley Lehr (10), during their game at University Stadium, on Saturday, during the Clarion Inn Classic.
Saturday night in the championship game of the Clarion Classic, it was the exact opposite as Allegheny walked away with a 3-0 victory at University Stadium.
After playing an overtime thriller Friday, Fredonia State was clearly a tired team Saturday.
"It showed a lot," Fredonia State coach Chris Case said of his team's performance. "My hope was we can play on the second day of a weekend, but tonight we couldn't do it. Allegheny was all over us from start to finish."
The Blue Devils could not generate much offense in the first half as they recorded just two shots on net while Allegheny jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
The Gators got on the board at the 23:19 mark as Emily Byers' shot from 45 yards out sailed over Fredonia State goaltender Meaghan Meszaros' head and into the net.
"Her timing was a little off tonight," Case said of his senior goalie. "So far this year, she has been great with the high stuff and made some fantastic saves. Tonight was an off night for her. She works hard in practice and I'm sure she will rebound. She made some great saves today. The score could have been much worse."
Nearly five minutes later, Allegheny's Emma Loniewski was able to fight off three Fredonia State defenders and find the back of the net for the 2-0 advantage.
With two minutes remaining, the Blue Devils began to find some success offensively as they were able to get to the net. Katie Kleine had a golden opportunity to get the home team on the board with 1:30 left, but her shot hit off the crossbar.
"That goal at the end of the first half would have been fantastic," Case said. "It would have been a pick me up and maybe would have fueled something for the second half. Sometimes a break doesn't go your way. Today we didn't get a break."
In the second half, the Gators added an insurance goal at the 17:09 mark as Greta Hilbrands scored on a penalty kick to round out the scoring.
Offensively, Fredonia State could not generate much.
"A lot of it was we just didn't execute on our final passes," Case said. "We kept giving the ball away to the goalie or didn't come back to the ball. Their defense was quite organized and it's tough when we play with two starting forwards out with concussions. Not having them was a major impact on our attack."
Allegheny's defense was anchored by Chyna Strickland, who shut down the left side of the field.
"She's a big girl who is athletic and physical," Case said. "I thought we would be able to expose her a bit, but she played a pretty good game.
"The referees definitely let them play," Case concluded. "Allegheny just outplayed us."