SCSU women’s soccer falls to Bentley University, finishing eighth in NE-10
Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer
High scoring efforts on both sides saw Bentley University spoil Southern Connecticut’s season finale game by a final score of 4-3, last Saturday afternoon on Senior Day.
Despite the loss, Southern managed to finish eighth in the Northeast-10 Conference and will play No. 1 seed Adelphi (14-2-2) in the NE-10 Tournament. The Owls on the other hand, closed the regular season with an overall record of 6-9-1.
“We wanted to finish the regular season with a win for [the seniors],” head coach Adam Cohen said. “The result today was a disappointment. But if you look at the bigger picture, they’ve done enough to earn the right to be in the top part of the conference, and play in the postseason.”
Bentley got on the scoreboard in the first three minutes of the game, off the Falcons’ first corner kick attempt. Brandi McDonald crossed the ball to the middle of the box, for Elena Ochsenreither to header the ball into the back of the net.
The Owls quickly responded five minutes later when Victoria Buonanni dribbled down the right sideline, cut into the box and passed the ball inside to Betti Worth on a sliding shot to the goalkeepers left post. Worth scoring her first goal of the season in return.
Southern could have brock the 1-1 deadlock seconds after Worth’s goal. Maeghan Howard smashed the ball into the top left corner, but was denied by a spectacular save by the Falcons’ goalkeeper, Deirdre Macrorie.
The game was leveled 1-1 heading into halftime, and forward Caroline Staudle said Coach Cohen wanted the team to center their attention on the objectives the team had prior to the game.
“Everything begins with how we defend,” said Staudle. “We were in the game, and it was up to us to go out and take it.”
Four minutes into the second half, a Falcons’ shot was saved by goalkeeper Erica Ridella, but the ball bounced back to Ochsenreither, putting her in a position to volley the ball from the top of the box and record her second goal of the game.
The Falcons extended their lead to 3-1 when Alyssa Valente picked up a loose ball at the 15-yard line, and shot it past Ridella’s left. The assistant referee originally ruled the goal offside, but after talking to the head referee, Valente goal was good.
But in the 63th minute, there was a handball inside the box by a Bentley player. Vicky Conde stepped up to take the penalty shot from 12 yards, and finished it to the goalkeeper’s right post.
Five minutes after Conde had scored her seventh goal of the season, the Owls would once again tie the game. Staudle dribbled down to the 20-yard line, created space and a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner was enough for her to tie Conde with a team-high seven goals.
Valente scored her brace three minutes after the Owls tied the game 3-3. Valente far post shot from the middle of the box, gave Bentley their 4-3 win over Southern.
After the final whistle, Cohen said Bentley wasn’t a must win game, but would of helped build momentum heading into the NE-10 Tournament
“I’m happy with what the team brought this season, but I still don’t think we’ve reached our full potential yet,” said Staudle. “I think the postseason will really bring out what we are capable of, and show what we’ve been working for all year.”
Photo Credit: Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer