Penguins Welcome Eastern Michigan Friday, Travel to Duquesne Sunday

Lauren Snow (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Lauren Snow (Photo by Rob Hayes)

The Youngstown State women's soccer team returns to the pitch on Friday, September 13 when they host Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. from Farmers National Bank Field in the Covelli Sports Complex. On Sunday, the Penguins hit the road as they travel to Duquesne to square off with the Dukes at 3 p.m. from the Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field.

Live stats will be available for both matches through YSUsports.com and Friday's match against Eastern Michigan will be streamed on ESPN+.

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Looking At The Opponents
Eastern Michigan: The Eagles (1-3-1) come into Friday's match having lost three consecutive games. On offense, five different players have registered a goal while junior defender Lindsey Shira leads the team in points with three. Mabel Dunn, a redshirt junior, has started every game in net for Eastern Michigan. She's made 28 saves and owns a 2.89 goals against average to go along with a .683 save percentage. 

The Eagles are under the direction of head coach Scott Hall (21st year), who has been with the program since it came into existence in 1995, serving as assistant coach for four seasons before taking over as head coach in 1999.

This is the sixth meeting all-time between the Penguins and Eagles in a series that dates back to 1996. The two teams will sqaure off for the first time since 2017 with Eastern Michigan owning a 5-0 record in the all-time series.

Duquesne: The Dukes enter the match with a 1-2-2 record after falling to nationally ranked N.C. State last weekend. The offense is led by junior midfielder Deena Debaldo, who has two goals through the first five games. Sophomore goal keeper Megan Virgin has played every minute in net for Duquesne, making 30 saves to go along with a 1.44 goals against average and a .789 save percentage.

Head coach Brian Shrum will have the opportunity to face his old team team for the first time after serving as an assistant under eight-year head coach Al Alvine from 2012-17. 

The Penguins and the Dukes will meet for the 11th time on Sunday in a series that date backs to 1996. The teams have played to a 1-1 each of the last two times they played but Duquesne owns a 7-1-2 record in the all-time series after last winning in 2014. The Penguins lone win of the series came in 2012 when they defeated the Dukes 1-0. 

Last Time Out
The Penguins split a pair of games last week to move their record to 2-4. On Friday, YSU dropped a hard fought game to Akron by a score of 1-0. They had a number scoring opportunities including in the 65th minute when a shot from Larsen Murvin hit the cross bar, which was followed by a rebound shot from Marcella Sizer that sailed over the net. 

On Sunday, the Guins used a pair of second half goals to defeat St. Francis (Pa.) by a score of 3-2. Marcella Sizer evened the game at 1-1 in the 23rd minute before adding her second goal of the match in the 56th minute to make the contest 2-2. Just five minutes later, Sizer connected on a pass to Raquel Costa Correia who ended up scoring her first colligate goal at the 50:31 mark to give the Penguins a 3-2.

Sizer Continues Offensive Onslaught
Freshman forward Marcella Sizer continues to provide the fire power on offense for the Penguins after scoring two goals and picking up an assist on the game-winner last Sunday in a 3-2 victory over St. Francis (Pa.).

Sizer now has four goals on the year after scoring the game-winning goal against Fort Wayne (8/23), and a penalty kick against St. Bonaventure (8/25). Sizer's four goals ranks her third in the Horizon League while her nine points puts her fourth.

Costa Correia Plays Hero
The sophomore midfielder picked an outstanding time to score her first collegiate goal in a 3-2 win over St. Francis (Pa.) last Sunday. After receiving a pass from Sizer and dribbling it up the right hand side of the attacking zone, Raquel Costa Correia fired a strike that found it's way into the back of the net after just glancing off the bottom of the cross bar. Costa Correia's goal in the 61st minute proved to be the game-winner as it gave the Penguins a one goal lead with under 30 minutes remaining in the match. 

McEachern, Jivraj Split Time In Net
Junior Kate McEachern and sophomore Zeeyana Jivraj have each been given the opportunity to start for the Penguins during the first six games of the season. Jivraj made starts in the first two contests for the Penguins while McEachern has started the last four matches.

McEachern has recorded 23 saves over the course of four matches, which includes a ten save performance against Kentucky on September 2. She picked up her first win of the season on Sunday with a four save performance against St. Francis (Pa.). After this week, McEachern ranks fifth in the Horizon League with saves and has the second most saves per game (6.75).

Jivraj has tallied 13 saves total, including a nine save performance in a winning effort against Purdue Fort Wayne on August 23. She has a 2.00 goals against average to go along with a .765 save percentage.

Youth Movement
With only seven upperclassman on the roster, Head Coach Brian Shrum has turned to his talented group of freshman to play significant minutes through the first six games. Shurm has already used a starting lineup that featured seven freshman on two occasions this season.

Against St. Bonaventure on August 25, Shrum gave the starting nod to seven freshman while an additional three saw playing time during the match. Last Sunday against St. Francis (Pa.), Shrum used seven frosh in the starting lineup while also giving playing time to three more throughout the game.

Freshmen Addie Roman (one goal), Regan LaVigna (two assists) and Sizer (four goals, one assist) have also been key contributors to the Penguins offense.

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.

During her senior campaign, Murvin has seen significant playing time making starts in all six matches. Murvin nearly scored her first collegiate goal last Friday against Akron when her shot hit the cross bar in the 65thm minute.

Up Next
The Penguins stay on the road as they travel to Oakland on Friday, September 20 for their first Horizon League test of the season. YSU will play the Golden Grizzlies at 7 p.m. from the Oakland Soccer Field. The Guins return home on Sunday, September 22 for their final non-conference game of the season, as they host Kent State at 1 p.m. from Farmers National Bank Field.

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