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The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

Cal Times

The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

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Gannon Tarnishes California’s Homecoming

On Homecoming Saturday, visiting Gannon kissed the California Vulcans goodnight with a convincing 3-1 victory
Nathan Kurtz
Vulcan Women’s Soccer Team

Strength comes in numerous forms: steel when cold and solid, water when choppy and formless, an oak when silent and old, and the Vulcans when assertive and starving for possession. The latter is a given, and the women-in-white never cease their pursuit of the ball. However, starvation is innate, assertiveness is learned. Riddled with famished youth, assertiveness has yet to settle in with the Vulcans.

Hesitancy gifted the visitors their first two goals. With Junior Katey Berns manning the left flank, the rookie duo of Caelin Thomas and Ella Kaszeta backboned the Vulcan backline. Both Freshmen found chemistry as the game marched forward, but growth often finds companionship in pain.

In the 7th minute, Gannon midfielder Gabby Bodem rolled a curving pass around the Vulcan defense to the on-rushing foot of teammate Grace Emmanuel. Emmanuel slotted the ball past goalkeeper Emily Ouimet. With 20:20 hindsight, it is easy to say one of the center-backs could have cleared the pass or that Ouimet should have left her line sooner. Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve. Regardless, 1-0 Gannon.

Growth met pain in the 21st minute. At the halfway line, a bouncing knuckleball of a Knight’s clearance scraped past Vulcan defender Thomas. Visiting striker Brooklyn Respecki pounced on the loose opportunity, driving the ball towards her destiny with the awaiting Ouimet. The top PSAC scorer contre the top PSAC goalkeeper. All ten fingers and toes on Ouimet mattered little as the Freshman Brooklyn told the clouds to darken over Phillipsburg. Respecki scored her forecasted goal, 2-0 Knights.

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Those blue skylights in overcast skies promise a better tomorrow. Before the match’s end, Vulcans pocketed a goal. Ranking last in the PSAC for goals-per-game, goals have not come easy for the Vulcans this season. It is important to not focus solely on overarching sport statistics, as they can diminish a dinner down to the main course.

The Vulcans have never once given up this season. Every single one of their games (except for against Mercyhurst, who makes even Atlas tremble) have been competitive. Starving wolves lost in the fruitless hunt, the Vulcans endlessly criss-cross the pitch chasing down possession.

In the 58th minute, Meia Haakanson nipped at the Knights. The entire second half, Captain Bella Gilberto terrorized the Knights with bruising runs. She welcomed the visitors to Phillipsburg. Believing in the end, Gilberto chased down a pass to the corner, placing the Knights in her sunset. Beneath a Californian drizzle, her sunset painted a visiting quick changeover into history. The Swedish Vulcan, Haakanson finished off Gilberto’s cross, scoring her first collegiate goal. 2-1, Vulcans.

The Vulcan sunset lasted only four minutes. Gannon midfielder Boden notched her second assist of the game as her corner met the head of Captain Leah Bermudez, for Gannon’s third goal. Bermudez, a member of the PSAC West 22-23 First Team, made the pitch her own on Saturday. The third Gannon goal put the game to bed in the 62nd minute.

With six games left, the playoffs are not yet an impossibility. Only the top four teams of each PSAC conference make the playoffs. Right now IUP (4-5-3) and Edinboro (3-6-4) battle for fourth, while the Vulcans lurk in the murk at 2-8-2. Insanity finds the Californian position envious. With the promise land shutting its doors on California, the Vulcans become a giant slayer crawling in the reeds. With every swing, the batter learns something about themselves. With every victory, the light at the end of the Liberty tunnel blazes a little brighter. As long as the Vulcans maintain complete effort, then the impossibility remains possible.

On Wednesday, the Vulcans made a short trip to Greensburg, facing off against Seton Hill. Their last meeting ended in a stalemate. This time the Vulcans lost 4-0. The Lady Vulcans play again on Saturday, October 21 at Noon. This is the Women’s Soccer Breast Cancer Awareness Game.

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Nathan Kurtz
Nathan Kurtz, Staff Writer/Photographer
Class 2026 Sports Management Major. Sports photographer and member of CUTV and WCAL

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