MEDIA, Pa. – A second-half flurry and the usual stingy defensive performance was more than enough to push the Ursinus College women's soccer team to a 3-0 victory at Penn State-Brandywine on Wednesday afternoon.
Morgan Raley and Kelly Gardus scored 27 seconds apart in the 56th minute and Skylar Knapp tacked on another goal for good measure, while the Bears' dominant back line combined to post a fourth consecutive shutout to open the season. Ursinus (3-0-1) is unbeaten through the first four matches for the first time since starting 6-0 in 2005, and the four-game shutout streak is the longest to open a campaign in program history.
Raley nearly opened the scoring with a spectacular goal in the 14th minute, but the Brandywine goalie managed to dive and palm away her stinging blast from outside the box on the right side.
Julia Ewing came close with a free kick from just outside the box, but her effort was saved in the upper left side of the net, and Raley had another low shot stopped with a dive as the Bears continued to knock on the door. Cailey Sanchez nearly played in Taylor Beaumont with a pass off her knee, but Beaumont was unable to get enough on her shot at the left post as the chance went begging.
Despite putting up 18 shots – 10 of them on target – in the first half, Ursinus went into the break still searching for a breakthrough. It didn't take long to come once the second stanza began, and when it did the levy broke entirely.
Raley capitalized on a giveaway by Brandywine deep in its own zone and placed a shot off the keeper and into the back of the net to give the Bears a well deserved lead in the 56th minute. Just 27 seconds later, Gardus fired one into the right side of the net from the middle of the box, doubling the advantage in the blink of an eye.
Skylar Knapp got on the board for the first time in 2019 in the 73rd minute, taking a pass from Beaumont before beating Emily Bush to make it 3-0.
Coming into the afternoon, Ursinus was one of 24 teams in Division III that had yet to allow a goal, and the Bears had little trouble extending their shutout streak to over 393 consecutive minutes dating back to last year. Sabrina Doherty stopped the only shot she needed to and Sarah Embley held down the fort for the last 15 minutes to combine for a fourth straight clean sheet.
The Bears posted a 27-5 advantage in shots and had 15 attempts on frame. They recorded the only five corners of the day.
Ursinus returns to Patterson Field to host Montclair State on Saturday.