TOLEDO - Toledo suffered a 3-0 setback to Eastern Michigan on Sunday in Mid-American Conference action at Scott Park. With the loss, the Rockets fall to 2-7-1 overall, 0-1-1 in the league. This was UT's most-lopsided conference setback since dropping a 4-1 decision at EMU on Oct. 21, 2005.
EMU's Cara Cutaia had a hand in all three tallies in today's division showdown, finishing with two goals and one assist to help her squad claim its first win in the "Glass City" since Sept. 12, 2003.
The two-time reigning MAC regular-season champion Rockets were outshot 15-10 by the Eagles (5-3-1, 2-0-0 MAC) and as a result extended their winless streak to five consecutive matches. Senior Rachael Kravitz led UT with three shots in today's contest, while sophomore Sarah Seig and sophomore Rio James has two shots each. Toledo has been outscored 8-1 during the winless stretch.
EMU came out firing on all cylinders and had a golden opportunity to open the scoring on a shot by Angela Vultaggio at the 8:47 mark. Fortunately for Toledo, sophomore goalie Kelsey Borowitz was in the right spot to make a diving stop and keep the match scoreless.
As the first half wore on, Eastern Michigan's Bianca Rossi was tripped in the UT goalbox by senior Natalia Gaitan to set up a penalty kick. One more time, though, Toledo's Borowitz came up huge and made an acrobatic stop to deny the visitors the goal.
Toledo seemed to have dodged a couple bullets in the first 20 minutes in today's match, but the home team was just not able to translate that into the attack.
EMU's Cutaia finally broke through for the first of her two goals on a follow-up shot at 29:18. The play started with a shot by Megan Pedro that was blocked by the middle of the UT defense. The ball was loose in front and Eastern Michigan's Chelsie Oddan put a shot on the frame that Borowitz was able to get a hand on, but the third-year keeper was unable to control. The sphere ended up at the foot of Cutaia on the doorstep, and she promptly hammered it home from approximately five-yards out for the eventual match-winning score.
The score remained the same until Cutaia found the back of the net for a second time less than two minutes into the second half. Teammate Stephanie Clarke crossed the ball from the right side to Cutaia who found a gap in the Toledo defense about 12 yards from the endline. The EMU midfielder volleyed the cross into the upper left corner of the net to make the score 2-0 at 46:12.
The Eagles' Rossi then closed out the scoring on a well executed series of passes from teammates Pedro and Cutaia to set the final difference at 3-0 at the 60:23 mark.
Following the third score, Toledo made a goalie change and brought in freshman Sam Tiongson. The Carmel, IN native was immediately tested and responded well with a nice stop on a point-blank shot off the foot of Vultaggio with just under six minutes left in regulation.
UT's best opportunity to break up the shutout came when junior Rachel MacLeod had a shot in front of the goal with EMU netminder Jenna O'Dell off her line. Unfortunately for MacLeod and the Rockets, her shot was blocked by an EMU defender to preserve the blanking.
Borowitz made six saves and Tiongson had one stop for the MAC-best four-time league tourney champion Rockets, while EMU's O'Dell was credited with four saves to pick up the fifth shutout of the season.
The Rockets return to action on Friday, Sept. 28 when they play at MAC East Division foe Buffalo. Kickoff for that match is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from UB Stadium.