Oct. 24, 2010

Courtesy of Kutztown Athletics

Carolynne Kahl may have had one of her best games of the season when her team needed it the most, as the Kutztown University womens soccer team defeated Bloomsburg 4-1 in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) matchup at Keystone Field Saturday afternoon. (BOXSCORE)

Kahl scored a hat-trick in the first half for Kutztown as it jumped on Bloomsburg early, getting off to a 3-0 lead by halftime. Kutztown continued to apply the pressure in the second half as freshman Sam Moyer scored her second goal of the season.

The Golden Bears (11-3-1 overall, 7-3-1 PSAC) entered Saturdays contest ranked 23rd in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/ HendrickCars.com Top 25 poll, and were looking for one more victory to assure them a PSAC playoff berth. Bloomsburg (10-3-3 overall, 8-3-1 PSAC) is No. 25 in the latest NSCAA top poll.

The Golden Bears came out looking hungry on Saturday, as the defense played aggressive and the offense looked sharp. This was Kutztowns first home game in 11 days.

The girls really wanted to play this game,” head Coach Erik Burstein said. They were excited to be back at home after all the traveling weve done. We shortened our practices and focused on the little details as we felt we werent as sharp as we needed to be. We know we have good players; we know they can perform at a high level. It was just a matter of it all coming together, and today it really did.”

Kahl started her scoring 10 minutes, 13 seconds into the game as she scored on a header off a cross from sophomore Crystal Zerbe. Zerbe played a fine game at midfield as she always seemed to be around the ball on both offense and defense.

Kahl continued to show her threat on the offensive end shortly after her first goal as well. On one of Kutztowns attacks, Kahl sent a through pass to fellow midfielder Stephanie Borland who ended up getting fouled in the penalty box and was awarded a penalty shot. Kahl took the penalty shot for the Golden Bears and was able to score with ease.

Kahl and Borland often play at the same time for Kutztown, and their chemistry on the field is a clear sight of that. Kahl had this to say about the combination of herself and Borland.

When she gets the ball, she is really good at looking for other options,” said Kahl. Stephanie made a great angle run to get the penalty kick, and it just worked. Weve been working well together this season.”

Borlands talents really showed on Saturday, as she seemed to bob and weave her way through Bloomsburg defenders every time she touched the ball.

In the closing minutes of the second half, coach Burstein continued to push his players to not let up and keep the pressure on Bloomsburg, as it was evident that one more goal could put the icing on the ‘PSAC-playoff cake for the 2010 Golden Bears. With under a minute left, Kutztown was awarded a corner kick. Sophomore Kelly Rozembersky took the corner for Kutztown and placed it perfectly in the middle of the box as Kahl, the tallest player on the field, was able to rise up and head the ball into the back left corner of the net to complete the hat-trick.

The last couple of games we were struggling a little bit connecting,” Kahl said, but we worked at it this past week and today it really showed. It was an all-around great team effort. We were connecting passes, getting good crosses, and finishing in front of their net.” I think it was the best game we played this season.”

Kahl is Kutztowns leading scorer with nine goals this season. Coach Burstein clearly notices the effect that Kahls play is having on the rest of the team.

Carolynne has been a huge inspiration,” said Burstein. When she does good things and takes players on and scores goals, everyone around her gets lifted. I think that her performance today helped inspire the kids around her, and because of the type of player she is, she is incredibly difficult to deal with for opposing defenses.”

Even with Kahls three goals in the first half, Kutztowns defense needed to step up in order to sustain the early lead Kahl had given it. Bloomsburg had 10 corner kicks in the first half, and the KU defensive line was able to diffuse every one.

We all worked together and played really strong on defense,” Kutztown goalkeeper Casey Behrendt said. Winning the ball in the air is crucial for us. It relieves the pressure and allows us to get the ball to our forwards with good position. This win is a great motivator for us moving through the rest of the season.”

Saturdays win over Bloomsburg was the 200th all-time victory for the womens soccer program at Kutztown. This was Bursteins 47th at Kutztown in only his fourth year. Kutztown is undefeated at home this season (7-0) with three games remaining on the schedule. Kutztowns next game is against C.W. Post on Tuesday, October 26 at 3:00 p.m. at Keystone Field.

Were putting ourselves in a great position for the postseason and thats all we ask the girls to do,” said Burstein. We have three games to play with two at home and one on the road at East Stroudsburg. It should be an interesting end to the season.”