Women’s soccer beats Saint Michael’s, wins second straight game of season
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
Last Saturday, it was all about the offense. Down 1-0 early, goals from freshman Kelsey Burr, sophomore Meaghan Kelley and junior Johanna Wahlen fueled the Owls en route to their 3-1 victory over Saint Michael’s.
“I think coming into the season this being the first NE10 conference game we knew we had to come out with a win today,” Kelley said. “After that first goal let-down I think the positivity of the team and the atmosphere … just being there on the field supporting each other and lifting each other up — that’s what this is all about. We were pushing through the entire game and we came out with the win today.”
This victory brought the Owls back to the .500 mark at 2-2, after they’d suffered two season-opening losses to LIU Post and the University of Bridgeport, both in Bridgeport, Aug. 31 and Sept. 2. This was their second win in a row, building off of their 2-1 victory over Queens College Sept. 5, where Wahlen scored her first goal in a Southern uniform.
“They were resilient today. They compliment their resiliency with their work rate so it’s gonna bode well for them,” head coach Adam Cohen said. “The expectations are really game-to-game. We set standards we want them to meet every game and they met them today, but we’ve got some work to do, also.”
The team will follow this success up with a crosstown rivalry game against the University of New Haven Chargers tonight, who are on a one-game skid. They won their first two regular-season games, a 3-2 victory over Georgian Court Aug. 30 and a 3-0 win with Post Sept. 3, but were held scoreless for a 3-0 defeat at Franklin Pierce last Saturday.
The Owls, this year, have a bit of a rebuilt starting lineup, which includes four freshmen, after losing Hannah Bodner, Brooke Davis, Taylor Moore, Victoria Buonanni and Gabrielle Arruda to graduation.
“[The freshmen] have the Southern attitude, the Southern mentality,” Cohen said. “The kids are doing a great job, the players are doing a great job and the coaching staff brings that mentality every day so it’s been impressive.”
In all, they welcomed 10 freshmen to this year’s team: Abigail Allen, Tamra Zippin, Kaitlyn D’Amico, Greta Brunello, Taylor Shutak, Georgia Teixeira, Burr, Courtney Viglione, Amanda Dustin and Taylor Davis.
Said Kelley: “All the freshmen are contributing to the team so well and the team atmosphere this year is incredible.”
The Owls will return home Sept. 18 with Saint Anselm College and Sept. 22 with Assumption. Saint Anselm is currently 1-2 and they’ve scored four goals in their first three games, while Assumption is also 1-2 but has scored eight goals in their first respective three matches.
Last season the team went 2-12-3 but the year before that they were 9-7-3. Exactly a year ago, they also beat Saint Michael’s, that time by a score of 2-1. Olivia Holubecki and Juliana Santos both finished with their first Southern goals. Creating almost a mirror-image, they had their home opener that Wednesday night with New Haven, a game that finished in a 1-1 tie.
Photo Credit: southernctowls.com