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Women’s Soccer Wins Fourth Consecutive Game

September 17, 2012

Jessica Smugala  
Freshman Jessica Smugala, shown here in action
against St. Charles Community College, collected her
first collegiate hat trick with a three-goal performance
in the Archers' 4-3 win over Kaskaskia Saturday.

After the first 45 minutes of Saturday’s 4-3 win over Kaskaskia College, most fans and players of St. Louis Community College’s women’s soccer team would be unlikely to predict how pivotal the game’s final minutes would become. The Archers dominated a first half that saw STLCC grab a 2-0 lead and hold Kaskaskia to just three shots on goal.

The second half proved to be a polar opposite, as Kaskaskia battled back from deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 to narrow the Archers’ lead to one each time. The Archers were ultimately able to hang on, largely on the production of freshman Jessica Smugala (Seckman), who broke into the scoring column in a big way, collecting her first career collegiate hat trick.

The scoring outburst was an unexpected one for Smugala, who was ill at the beginning of the game.

“I wasn’t expecting at all, but I came out strong,” Smugala said.” It seemed like I was stronger on the ball after I was able to place one.”

Freshman Taylor Giese (Seckman) banged home the game-winner, scoring in the 78th minute to secure the team’s fourth straight victory.

In addition to the fireworks on the scoreboard, the Archers fought through what became a physical, at times ugly, second half that resulted in the two teams combining for three yellow cards and a red card. The red card resulted in a penalty kick, and Smugala’s third goal of the game.

“You want to fight back so much, but you have to play your game and keep your composure,” Smugala said.

The Archers were able to just hang on, as they denied a flurry of Kaskaskia shots within the final minute.

At 4-3, the game posed a significant difference from the clean-cut, decisive defensive showings of the past week for the Archers. STLCC had won its previous three games, all by 2-0 final scores.

Head coach Juergen Huettner chalked up the shaky second half to youth and inexperience, of which the Archers have plenty. However, being able to hang on for a win despite their struggles, both defensively and in overall composure, is a positive for STLCC.

“When you can look at it from a winning standpoint, it’s a lot easier,” Huettner said. “It’s definitely a growing experience for us right now, but you have to look at it from the bright side. We had a bad game defensively, but we still did enough work offensively to win. We’ve won four games in a row, and I’ll take that any day.”

The Archers host Metropolitan Community College-Blue River tomorrow (Sept. 18) at 2 p.m. at Meramec.