|Jenista Scores Twice to Lead Hatters Over Eagles|
Courtney Jenista celebrates winning goal against ERAU.
Courtesy: Jim Hogue Photos
DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson women's soccer team took advantage of a late goal and defeated Embry-Riddle (0-1-0) by a score of 2-1 Thursday night at the Stetson Soccer Complex. Junior forward Courtney Jenista (Pensacola, Fla.) scored both goals for the Hatters (2-1-0) including the game-winner with just over two minutes remaining in regulation play.
"We sure like to make it exciting! It was great to see Courtney get that one late," said Stetson head coach Julie Orlowski.
Seniors Katie Bitetto (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Tessa Gavilsky (Granite City, Ill.) assisted on both Stetson goals. After three games Jenista (3 goals) and Gavilsky (1 goal, 4 assists) share the team lead with six points each, followed by Bitetto with five points (1 goal, 3 assists).
Gavilsky started Stetson's first scoring play in the 9th minute of the game. From 10 yards inside the midfield she chipped a pass over the defense to Bitetto at the top of the box. Bitetto one-timed a pass and sent Jenista in alone for a lower left finish.
The Eagles answered at 15:11 with a goal by Valerie Obita (Lindome, Sweden). Krizzy Menez (Key West, Fla.) had a good chance from 10 yards out that was deflected by Stetson keeper Andrea Garavaglia (Webster Groves, Mo.) but the ball found Obita who ripped it home lower left.
The teams played even until late when Jenista sent the Hatters fans home happy. She started the play with a tackle near midfield and a pass to Gavilsky. The two-time A-Sun Player of the Year made a move to her right and then sent Bitetto down the right flank. After a perfect cross Jenista ticked the twine from ten yards out.
"If we could give another assist on the last one it would go to Courtney. She bumped off their big girl around midfield, dug it out to Tessa and then sprinted all the way to the back post for her chance from Tater. She works very hard for what she gets," said Orlowski.
It was a hard fought contest that saw marked improvement from Stetson's back four and midfield after last weekend's tough loss to Miami. Junior Crossley Simmons (Winfield, Ill.) was an unrelenting force and played a key role. Garavaglia looked sharp in goal coming up with six saves.
"Crossley anchored the back very well tonight", said Orlowski. "She had two 1v1 situations where she stepped up with some big tackles. She solidified the back and really saved our butts tonight."
Next up Stetson will travel to Tallahassee on Sunday to take on Florida State at 2:00 p.m. The nationally sixth-ranked Seminoles are 2-0-0 on the season and are 6-0-0 all-time against the Hatters. Last year FSU defeated Stetson 3-0 in DeLand.
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