PAT LONGOBARDI — Sports Writer
If this team’s performance was any indication of the progress so far, then SCSU women’s soccer is going to turn some heads as the season goes on.
Two first half-goals and continuous tough defense propelled Southern over Saint Michael’s College, 3-0, in a Northeast-10 Conference match-up at Jess Dow Field.
Southern dominated the game from the start, getting many shooting opportunities and pressing with a tough defensive performance.
“I think this was our closest to complete perfection,” Southern head coach Adam Cohen said. “We were very composed and it ultimately leads to goals.”
In the first half, the Owls wasted no time going right at Saint Michael’s and their senior goalkeeper, Brittany Cocozza.
Sophomore Laura Barberia (Pamplona, Spain) made it 1-0 in the 14th minute with her first goal of the season when she capitalized off of a turnover from St. Michael’s inside the box for a score in the top right corner of the net.
They made it 2-0 just five minutes later. Junior Lisamarie Tarchini (Bristol, Conn.) scored her second of the season in the right corner of the net – off of a corner kick from sophomore Suzane Pires for the assist.
For the rest of the half, Southern kept taking shots on Saint Michael’s and would not allow any shots for Saint Michael’s in the entire first half.
Freshman Stephanie Santos had another scoring opportunity in the 30th minute, but her shot would hit off of the post.
“In the first half, we minimized the scoring, “ graduate Jacquelyn Fede said, who earned her sixth consecutive win and shutout.
In the second half, Saint Michael’s (2-4, 1-3 NE-10), loser of three of their last four games, did not receive their first official shot until the 57th minute. However, they did come close on each limited opportunity.
There were consecutive headers by senior Teal Bryan and then by sophomore Jordyn Mallett in the 58th minute, only to both be saved by Fede.
Southern would tack on another goal in the 55th minute. Freshman Hannah Spreckley (York, England) scored her second of the season after Pires made a tremendous pass for 50 yards deep. Spreckley went one-on-one with Cocozza for the score in the left corner of the net. Southern had 16 shots the entire game.
Senior Jenna Mallico also took three shots in the game for Southern.
Southern outshot Saint Michael’s 16-3 in the game, including nine shots in the first half and 10 on goal.
“Usually, it is the attackers who score. I was pleased that the forwards produced with two goals,” Cohen said.
Southern defeated Saint Michael’s last season, 2-1, in Colchester, Vt. Mallico scored the game-winner in the second half that held up for the rest of the game. Southern has won three straight games against Saint Michael’s and has not lost to them since the 2007 season. Southern is 6-4-1 all-time.
Fede allowed no goals in 87:30 of play with two saves. Freshman Katelyn Fortier replaced Fede in the 87th minute.
Cocozza allowed three goals in 77:23 of play, with five saves. Freshman Aubrey Ouellet replaced Cocozza in the 77th minute, making two saves in 2:30.
Saint Michael’s sophomore Kate Garaffa received a yellow card in the 84th minute.
Southern (6-0, 4-0 NE-10) is ranked No. 4 in the NSCAA East regional poll, up one spot from No. 5. The team is also receiving votes toward the national poll, and this performance should put them in.
“I think every game we are gaining more confidence,” Fede said. “I had a great time watching my team continue to have a great performance.”