Penguins Open 2019 Campaign at Home Against Fort Wayne, St. Bonaventure

Abriana Rondin (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Abriana Rondin (Photo by Rob Hayes)

The Youngstown State women's soccer team opens the 2019 season on Friday, August 23 when they host Purdue Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. from Farmers National Bank Field in the Covelli Sports Complex. Two days later, the Penguins return to action when they host St. Bonaventure at 1 p.m. 

Both matches will be streamed live on ESPN+, and live stats will be available through YSUsports.com.

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Looking At The Opponents
Fort Wayne:
The Mastodons split a pair of exhibition matches as they defeated Saint Francis (Ind.) by a score of 6-1, before falling to future Horizon League foe Wright State, 4-2. Morgan Reitano and Hannah Kroger each scored two goals while Lorah Pund made seven saves over the course of the two contests. 

Friday evening will feature the fifth consecutive year that the Penguins and Mastodons will face off. Fort Wayne owns a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series after defeating the Penguins last year 1-0. YSU's last victory came in 2017 when they won 1-0. 

St. Bonaventure: Syndey Cerza returns as the top point score for the Bonnies after scoring four goals and recording two assists a season ago. Laura Malcom figures to plug right back in net after starting all 19 matches last year. She posted a 1.67 GAAvg and a .790 save percentage to go along with two shutouts. The Bonnies begin their 2019 season on Thursday, August 22 when they take on Binghampton. 

St. Bonaventure and YSU will face off for the fifth consecutive season on Sunday, as the Bonnies own a 3-1-1 advantage in the all-time series. Last year, the game ended in a 0-0 draw at the Marra Athletics Complex. YSU's last victory came in 2017 when they defeated the Bonnies 1-0. 

Exhibiton Recap
Last weekend, the Penguins played a pair of exhibition games as part of their preseason schedule. On August 16, YSU was defeated by Ohio by a score of 6-1. Freshman Addie Roman scored the lone goal when she kicked a strike from just past midfield in the 76th minute. Junior goalkeeper Kate McEachern made six saves during the first half while Samantha Susi recorded four saves during the second half.

On August 18, the Penguins took on Buffalo at UB Stadium and were defeated 2-0. Freshman forward Regan LaVigna recorded three shots for the Penguins while sophomore goalkeeper Zeeyana Jivraj made four saves. 

Key Penguins Returning
Sophomore Lauren Dolak returns as the top goal scorer for the Penguins after recording a team-high two goals last season. Dolak appeared in all 18 games while making 17 starts at the midfield position. Junior Lexi Neal will look to anchor the defense for the Guins after the departure of two seniors on the backline. Neal started in all 18 games and recorded four shots last year. 

Junior Kate McEachern figures to get the nod in goal for the Penguins after making 14 starts during the 2018 season. McEachern finished the year with a 1.82 GAA and a .735 save percentage to go along with three shutouts. McEachern led all goalkeepers with 48 saves and 6.0 saves per game during Horizon League play. She was awarded with the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week honors on 10/8/18 for her five save, shutout performance against Oakland.

The Lone Senior
Larsen Murvin enters the 2019 season as the only senior on the Penguin's roster. She'll look to provide that "senior leadership" as the Penguins feature 22 underclassmen on their roster. For her career, Murvin has seen action in 39 games while also making 18 starts. She's record three assists during her time at YSU, with two coming during her freshman year and one last season as a junior.  

New Faces
The Penguins' roster features 13 new faces, including 12 freshman and sophomore transfer Bethany Rasile, who played her soccer at the University of Pittsburgh last fall. Rasile figures to plug into the backline after playing in nine matches and making two starts for the Panthers last season as a defender.

Freshman Marcella Sizer and Abriana Rondin join the Penguins as some of the most prolific goal scorers in Ohio state history. Rondin played her soccer at Luthern West and finished her career with 134 goals, which is tied for the seventh most all-time in Ohio. On the other hand, Sizer racked up 114 goals and 48 assists during her career at Waynesville. 

Up Next

The Penguins hit the road for a pair of games starting on Friday, August 30 when they travel to Marshall to battle the Thundering Herd at 7 p.m., followed by a matchup with Kentucky on Sunday, September 1 at 2 p.m.

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