The nationally ranked women’s soccer team returned home yesterday and defeated Utica College 3-0 at Carp Wood Field for its sixth win and third shutout of the season.
Junior forward Rachael Palladino scored all of the game’s goals, netting the first in the second minute of the game to put the Bombers up early.
The team kept pressure on Utica College and scored again in the 24th minute when Palladino struck again off a pass by sophomore forward Ellyn-Grant Keane. Palladino would later complete her hat trick in the 53rd minute off an assist from senior midfielder and back Marla Schilling to put the South Hill squad up 3-0.
Palladino and the Bombers were relentless offensively, outscoring the Pioneers by a lop-sided 28-5 margin.
Palladino said her goals were a result of executing her opportunities at the front of the net.
“I just had more opportunities at the net this game than I have had in others, and I think I stayed composed when I needed to,” she said.
Palladino is now tied for second all-time in career points for the Bombers with 96.
Sophomore forward Jackie Rodabaugh said the keys to the shutout victories this season have been the team’s high intensity and depth of this year’s roster.
“There are a lot of girls coming off the bench that can keep the intensity at a very high level”, she said.
The Bombers have been using the defense as an offensive weapon this season to put up goals and build on leads. Junior midfielder Julie Winn said the defense is a major factor to the team’s offensive success because it allows them to keep the pressure on opposing team’s without worrying about giving up goals.
“Knowing that you have a solid defense and goal keeper behind you is definitely reassuring and helps boost our team confidence,” she said. “Our offense starts from our defense, and they have been a very integral part of our success.”
The Blue and Gold will put their unbeaten streak to the test at 1 p.m. Saturday when they face Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y.