Longwood opens women’s soccer season with win

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, August 18, 2022

FARMVILLE In a scoreless match between two evenly matched foes, all it takes is one moment of grit to separate two sides. Good thing Catharine Forst plays for Longwood women’s soccer.

The senior delivered the lone goal of the match in a 1-0 win for Longwood in their season opener against Richmond on Thursday night in Farmville. The defense made it stick. Now, Longwood opens the season 1-0.

“It set the tone for us,” Forst said about the season-opening win. “We’ve been working hard these past two weeks in the preseason, and we have a lot of new players. It was kind of a rebuilding year for us because half of our team is new. But we have really good depth, and this proves to us that all of our hard work was worth it.”

A one-score game

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With the score knotted at 0-0, Forst struck on a corner kick for Longwood (1-0) in the 67th minute. On the service, the ball pinballed around at the corner of the six-yard box.

“I was in the motion of falling down, but I saw the ball bouncing, and I was like, ‘Cat, just get a foot on it and see what happens,’ Forst said.

She did. The ball went in. All of the sudden, she had the opening goal of the season for the Lancers in her senior season, one day after she had been named a team captain.

“When I watched it go in the back of the goal, it was immediate goosebumps,” Forst added after scoring the second game winner of her Lancer career. “It’s just like, when a corner comes in, you never know what’s going to happen, and you just hope that you get something on it. That’s what was going through my mind.”

Forst’s timely strike was enough for a defense that bent but refused to break, a hallmark for teams coached by Todd Dyer, now in his 29th year at the helm of the Longwood women’s soccer program. The win gave Longwood a leg up in the series between the in-state rivals, as the two sides were 4-4-3 against each other since 2006.

“It’s always nice to start the season with a win,” Dyer said. “Richmond had most of the ball and chances, so we had to weather the storm more than we’d like. We had our moments going forward, but in the end we had to scrap for that goal off the corner kick. It’s ironic because we had to defend so many on the other end.”

Longwood turns Spiders away

Richmond (0-1) repeatedly tested the Lancer back line, but the foursome of Caroline Lydecker, Amanda Arnone, Hannah McGarvey and Kaley Unger along with goalkeeper Mary Kate Levush repeatedly turned aside the Spiders in the final quarter of the field. Levush finished the night with seven saves.

While Richmond fired 25 shots, only eight were on target as Longwood forced the Spiders to launch most of their shots outside the 18-yard box. In addition, the Lancer defense was stout while defending nine corner kicks.

“Our soccer can and will improve, but our fight and grit is what got us through tonight, especially on our backline where all four and our goalkeeper played 90 minutes and earned the shutout,” Dyer said.

The Lancers return to action on Sunday afternoon as they host UMBC at 2 p.m.