WSOC: Wilkes fails to get past No. 19 Arcadia in 3-0 shutout


Junior defender Catherine Gregoire attempts to stop Arcadia’s push up the field in Saturday’s contest against the nationally-ranked opponent.

EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. — Despite a scoreless first half, the Colonels lost 3-0 to nationally ranked No. 19 Arcadia University.

“They’re a very good team. There’s a reason they’re ranked nineteenth in the country,” said head coach John McNichol. “They’re very athletic and aggressive.”

With this approach, the Knights were able to keep possession and score two of their goals off of the 13 corner kicks they had, a downfall that McNichol notes Wilkes needs to be tighter on defensively. 

“We need to press more effectively as a team,” said junior defender Catherine Gregoire, echoing her coach’s mindset. “Arcadia was very direct, capitalized on restarts and tried to exploit the space behind our midfield.”

Gregoire’s counterpart, fellow junior defender Niamh Harkins, noted the Colonels’ drop-in intensity following Arcadia’s first goal only three minutes into the second half. 

“When we play our style of soccer, we can play with the top teams in our region,” reflected Harkins. “But if we drop our intensity level and move away from what we want to be doing, good teams will capitalize on that just like Arcadia did in the second half.”

With only two shots on goal in the game, coming from Gregoire and sophomore forward Tatiana Mancera, Wilkes struggled to find their groove on offense. 

“The tough thing for us in the second half is that we didn’t get the ball pressure that we were really looking for higher up the field. Then, when we had possession of the ball, we were a little bit frantic with it and a bit more direct than we needed to be,” said McNichol. 

Using these takeaways, Wilkes is hoping to adjust for their upcoming competition against the University of Scranton on Tuesday.

“We’re using this loss as motivation since we know Scranton is a similar team to Arcadia,” said Mancera.

According to McNichol, “Scranton’s a great team — they’re tough, organized and strong defensively. They’re not scoring as many goals as they have in the past, so I think it’s going to be a pretty tight matchup for us. As we continue to get more comfortable with the way that we want to play, then I think that there’s going to be a lot more positives going forward.”