GEORGETOWN, Texas -- After a two-match scoring drought, the Southwestern University Pirates women's soccer team rained down goals from all over the pitch, scoring four in the first half to defeat the Austin College Kangaroos 5-0.
Southwestern dominated possession against Austin College in a match marked by long, unimpeded runs by the Pirate defensive back line and forwards against a conservative Kangaroo defense willing to cede them.
Early in the match, Southwestern forward Juliet Pridgen brought the ball past midfield, slowing at the point offenses normally meet resistance. But the Kangaroos spent most of the half content to sit back in a defensive shell, creating almost a momentary confusion from the Pirates.
It didn't last long.
Southwestern worked quickly but never hurried, taking the ground surrendered then finding more, moving the ball down the sideline with quick passes in triangle formations. When Austin College was able to disrupt Southwestern movement, it could never counter, sending only forward Lina Cruz with a disadvantage in numbers.
With no repercussions for pressing its attack, the Pirates began to fire off pot shots from deep, beginning with an ambitious attempt from Ariel Mansholt after a cleared corner kick that rocketed off the post.
A few minutes later, the Pirates finally broke through when first year defender Erin Kelley, making one of those long runs, split two defenders with a sharp right-to-left dribble, finding open space along the right side of the field and then finding Samiah Varnell for the goal 14 minutes in.
Five minutes later, Varnell found Alexis Barrientez with a brilliant pass for a 2-0 lead.
The goals emboldened the Pirates, who pressed their advantage with even more optimistic shots, getting a goal from Sydney Kattaward sprinting to her left off the left foot.
At the 32-minute mark, Katey Ewton unleashed a high-arching shot with a trajectory that would've made a medieval longbow archer proud, dropping just behind Austin College goalie Maya Erwin into the back of the net.
For the half, the Pirates outshot the Kangaroos 16-1 with a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks.
In the second half, the Kangaroos adjusted by keeping a higher backline, setting an offsides trap that stymied the Pirates' best runs. Beyond that, it was mostly the same with Southwestern dominating possession, building from the back, and creating opportunities down the field.
Southwestern outshot Austin College 10-3 after the break with Pirates goalie Mary Cardone relatively unchallenged with her two saves. The Pirates tacked on their fifth goal in the final two minutes when Sarah McGinn delivered a perfectly weighted pass through the middle to Alexis Guajardo for the score.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 9-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. Southwestern will travel to Colorado next weekend to play Johnson & Wales University Denver on Oct. 13.