Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer –
Southern women’s soccer drew a tough opponent in the first round of the Northeast-10 playoffs, facing off against a Saint Rose team that had lost just once all season. The Owls proved to be no match, falling 5-1, bringing their season to an end.
After being outscored 4-0 in the first half, Southern was unable to rally and eventually lost 5-1.
Brooke Madura scored the lone unassisted goal for Southern. The Owls finish out 2012 with a record of 9-6-3.
Prior to this, the team played a pair of games leading up to their matchup with Saint Rose. The team closed out their season last week with a victory over Assumption and a defeat to UMass-Lowell to finish with a regular season record of 9-5-3.
“I just think it’s good that we’re on the right track,” head coach Adam Cohen said after Wednesday night’s victory over Assumption. “We’re getting better each and every game. I think that’s a good sign of a team who is headed to the postseason right now.”
In the previous game against Assumption, junior mid-fielder/forward Suzane Pires got the Owls on the board early. In the fifth minute, Pires capitalized on a second chance opportunity, after Assumption goalie Allison Bruder deflected her first shot attempt. Pires’ goal would be the only goal scored by either team in the first half.
“The first goal I just followed it and a lot of it was luck,” Pires said. “I just took my opportunities when I could.”
In the second half, the Owls extended their slim 1-0 lead in the 64th minute with a corner kick by Pires, assisted senior mid-fielder Julia Gotta who beat Bruder to the left of the net.
The Greyhounds would cut the deficit to one in the 77th minute off of a Paige Radomski goal. One goal however would prove not enough, as Southern went on to edge Assumption 2-1.
“We played well in the first 15 minutes but from there, the game got a little bit sketchy,” Pires said. “The important thing is we got the two goals, and we were able to win and keep moving up.”
The Owls finished the game with an overall total of 11 shots; seven were on goal.
Southern goalkeeper Elizabeth Nickerson finished the game with a total of four saves.
She said after the game that defensive teamwork was the reason for her performance.
“We played well,” Nickerson said. “We tried to switch the ball and keep it away from Assumption. There were solid defensive efforts put forth by Sarah Brochu and Lisa Tarchini, so I give it to the both of them.”
Despite offensively out-performing their opposition, the Owls were unable to put across any goals, which resulted in a 1-0 shutout loss in Saturday’s match-up against UMass-Lowell
The one goal came in the 76th minute when UMass-Lowell’s Jenna Costa from 35 yards out, lofted the ball directly over Nickerson’s head to avoid overtime.
The Owls finished the game with 12 total shots, eight of which were on goal, while the River Hawks managed only four total shots, two of which were on target.
Despite Saturday’s loss, Cohen said he’s content with where his team currently stands.
“I just really think we want to control the controllable,” Cohen said. “Individually and as a team, we want to get better with every game right now.”
Prior to the quarterfinal matchup against Saint Rose, Nickerson said the team must be focused in order to come away victorious.
“We need to keep playing better,” Nickerson said. “We need to be sharp, and keep the details. The details matter, and we need to the get that win.”