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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Soccer Log

A tough, long Walk

There was no happy median for Caitlin Walker at any time during her first start-to-finish whirl-around as a collegiate goalkeeper Sunday. Nothing close to the sort. She either had protracted hiatuses from urgent action that would have allowed her to order in a few refreshing rounds of Del’s if she so chose, or she was caught in an ultimately make-or-break showdown with the unrelenting Manhattan Jaspers’ strike force.

It only took one registered shot attempts at a time for Manhattan’s Courtney McMahon and Megan LaVecchia –in the 54th and 116th minute respectively- to scorch home the equalizing and clinching goals in a 2-1 Jaspers triumph, callously denying the booming Friars (3-1) a fab four home stand to start their season.

In packing the decider early in the second overtime frame, LaVecchia redeemed her personal failure on her team’s previous hack at Walker. More tellingly, that shot –which safely cleared the upper goalpost- had come at the 67:01 mark of regulation. Manhattan slogged through exactly 48:35 worth of playing time without so much as a kick within Walker’s radius. All the while, the Friars leveled a luckless thirteen shots at the Jaspers cage –three of them handled by stopper Caitlin Trupiano.

At day’s end, the Friars had outshot Manhattan, 24-10 in terms of attempts and 9-5 in terms of summoning the goalie to action. Carrying over from her quick slurp of action against Holy Cross last Thursday, Walker’s workload remained dry for exactly 31:37, finally getting a splash when a Manhattan corner kick offered defender Brittany Duhamel a shot at 25:48.

But from that point forward, minus one considerable swarm between the 41st and 44th minutes, the Jaspers could never muster multiple shots within a ten minute time frame.

It is now open to speculation as to whether Walker will remain the full-time deputy to Jill Schott –who scooped up three quick wins after coming to training camp with a mere three-and-a-half minutes to her collegiate credit- or if Jim McGirr has a balanced rotation in mind.

But at the unbalanced rate of Sunday’s action, Walker’s best developmental benefit had to come from watching the chin-standing clinic Trupiano dynamically performed. Trailing 1-0 at the half on the strength of Courtney Collins’ tally in the 33rd minute, Trupiano proceeded to push away four consecutive Friar stabs for the rest of regulation and another two in the first 20-minute bonus round.

Short-lived perfection: It was nice while it lasted for the aforementioned Collins, whose game-breaking goal was her second on as many shot attempts in her two-week-old career with the Friars. She would preserve her perfect SOG percentage through a shot in the 59th minute foiled by Trupiano, but finally felt her cleats brushing the soil once more in the 74th minute, when her attempt was blocked by a Manhattan defender, making for her first non-SOG in four tries.

Free Kicks: Six Friars have started all four games so far: Nicole Benko, Jill Camburn, Christie Gent, Tara Ricciardi, Lindsey Trubia, and Mara Whaley…Glay Field has erected backstop nets being each goal cage in an implicit attempt to minimize the frequency of misdirected shots scuttling away from the facility…The Friars and Jaspers drew an even 14 fouls apiece Sunday…Eight of PC’s 24 shots on Sunday were the doing of Jill Camburn, who now leads the team with a whopping 15 on the year…The Hartford Hawks, lined up to be PC’s first road adversary this Thursday, are currently 2-2-2 and coming off a scoreless wash with Big East tenant Georgetown in the third-place game of the George Mason Tournament this past weekend.

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