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Women’s soccer celebrates 4-1 victory on Senior Day

By Stephanie Metzger

The Cleveland State women’s soccer team celebrated Senior Day with a 4-1 victory over Francis Marion on Saturday afternoon.

Five seniors, Jaime Avona, Carla Ragone, Valerie Stahl, Rachel Strongoli and Sarah Zawie were the five players honored for Senior Day.

Avona is a speech and hearing major from Boardman, Ohio. Last season, she was the only player on the team to start all 19 matches. She is second in team goals scored this season.

Ragone, a native of North Royalton, is a defender who has been an essential part of the team’s defense. She is interested in majoring in either pharmacy or criminology, according to the team website.

Stahl, the only out-of-state senior, is a defender from Everett, Washington. The physical education major has been selected to the All-Horizon second team and All-Ohio first team during her career with the Vikings.

Strongoli is a Solon High School alumna majoring in art and psychology. The mid-fielder has had her artwork featured in various displays, including the Tremont ArtWalk.

Zawie, a North Royalton native, is a defender majoring in exercise science. She attended James Madison University for one season before transferring to Cleveland State her sophomore year.

Avona led the group of seniors with a goal and an assist on Saturday, and the defensive squad managed to bear down after allowing an early goal.

Francis Marion scored within the first two minutes of the match, but the Vikings’ rebuttal was quick as Shea Levi scored her first goal of the season 13 minutes in.

The Vikings took the lead on Avona’s fifth goal of the year and the team never looked back as they tacked on two more. Kelcey Fischer netted her second goal of the season late in the first half and Brittany Koester scored the first goal of her career in the second half to boost the Vikings to the 4-1 lead.

Vikings’ coach Derrek Falor said that the early goal allowed by the team defense was something his squad will need to learn from, but offensively, the team is learning to find scoring opportunities.
Falor also noted the seniors’ success on Saturday, as all five seniors found ways to contribute.

“That’s what you would want obviously all year, but certainly on Senior Day,” said Falor. “It’s good to see the seniors come through and get some points of the board and play well, and the fans appreciate their effort.”

Saturday’s win advanced CSU to a 5-8 record. The Vikings head to Youngstown on Wednesday before taking on Detroit next week.