The Waynesburg University women’s soccer team won its first Presidents’ Athletic Conference game this season Tuesday afternoon, defeating the St. Vincent Bearcats, 1-0. With only two games left in the season, head coach Laura Heethuis hopes that the win serves as a springboard.
“Hopefully it is a boost of morale,” Heethuis said. “We know that we are a good team, so that’s the frustrating thing is we have been having a hard time finishing. So, we have tried numerous different people up top to just see what flows, what connects and who is dangerous on any given day.”
During the first half of the game the Yellow Jackets couldn’t find any sort of rhythm. The game remained scoreless after the first 45 minutes of action. Heethuis felt it was a poor first half for the Jackets. She said the team didn’t connect their passes, didn’t win any 50/50 balls and were sluggish up top whenever it came to making runs.
“We [had] a good talk at halftime and we just talked about being prideful in what we do and being prideful being from Waynesburg and wearing our crest on our jerseys,” Heethuis said. “So, I challenged them to step it up in the second half and to play like we know we can and immediately we saw a lift in the team.”
The team took that to heart and came out looking completely different in the second half compared to the first, Heethuis said.
“We started to string more passes together and get more opportunities,” she said. “We started to look like ourselves and play like ourselves, it was good to see them rebound and be resilient in that aspect.”
In the 74th minute the goalless deadlock senior Gina Bonura broke the deadlock with her first goal of the season.
“The ball came out and I am a defender so I got an adrenaline rush as it came out,” Bonura said. “I have had a couple of different opportunities this season, but nothing had ever gone in. So, I shot it and it actually rebounded and I shot again and it went in. After that I was pretty excited.”
Heethuis was impressed by Bonura’s goal as well.
“It was great to see Gina get in closer to goal and be able to finish,” Heethuis said. “She put up one good shot that got blocked and she was able to kind of clean up her rebound and put it back on frame which is awesome.”
The Jackets are now 3-10-2 and 2-5-2 in conference play with two conference games left this season. The two games left for Waynesburg are against Thiel Oct. 26 and Geneva Oct. 29.
“It was good to get our first win under our belt and we have two more to go,” Heethuis said.