Rachel Flory scored a late game-winner and the Carlow women’s soccer team earned a crucial River States Conference victory, 2-1, against Rio Grande on Friday, Oct. 20, at Highmark Stadium.
The Celtics (7-5-2/2-3-2/4-0) entered the matchup ranked seventh in the RSC, with a 1-3-2 conference record, while the RedStorm was tied for first with WVU Tech, boasting a 4-0-1 conference mark. The top six teams qualify for the conference tournament, which begins Nov. 4.
Alexa Mermigas (SR/Wexford, Pa.) netted Carlow’s first goal from 18 yards, in the 32nd minute, on a cross from Riley Walsh (JR/Pittsburgh, Pa.). Her shot arched high over goalkeeper Andrea Vera’s head into the top of the net.
The goal stood for the majority of the contest as both defenses played a strong match. The Celtics controlled the majority of possession, taking 15 shots with eight shots on goal. Rio Grande took just nine shots with four on goal.
But with 4:45 remaining and the contest growing more physical, Kelsey Lee worked a small opening in a group of Carlow defenders and blasted a Rio Grande equalizer from 20 yards out. It was out of the reach of Carlow goalkeeper Lexie Mirenda (SR/Altoona, Pa.), who made three saves on the day.
However, the Celtics took advantage of their last of six corner kicks of the day. Malak Shuman (SO/Monroeville, Pa.) took the kick, launching the ball over the ruckus in front of the net. Flory (SO/Huntington Beach, Calif.) crashed toward the goal from behind and slipped in the game-winner, with 2:23 remaining.
The Celtics will have a quick turnaround, traveling to WVU Tech for a 4pm match tomorrow. The Golden Bears, who also have a 4-0-1 RSC record, play at Point Park tonight.