Owls storm back in second half to take down Assumption
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
Down 2-0 at halftime, second-half goals from junior Johanna Wahlen, freshman Greta Brunello and sophomore Meaghan Kelley pushed the women’s soccer squad to a 3-2 victory over Assumption College last Saturday afternoon for their fifth win of the season.
It was the team’s second win in a row after defeating Saint Anselm College, 1-0 on Sept. 18.
“It’s all about the players and how tough they are and how much they want to play and fight for each other,” head coach Adam Cohen said. “We have a good mix of veteran leadership and good young players, too, and they all get along so well together and they love playing for each other.”
At the 51-minute mark, Wahlen was able to strike from the right-hand side to ignite the Owls’ offense and get them on the board, unassisted, at a 2-1 deficit. Brunello then hit her first goal of the season off a corner kick and an assist by Paula Nunez Escobar and Kelley sealed things off with a cross, from a Kelsey Burr assist, at 78 minutes, for her second on the year.
“It feels great to be on the team this year. Everyone has such great attitudes and it makes it a lot of fun and I think you see that in the way that we play,” Wahlen said. “Last year, we lost a large group of seniors from the year before so it was tough but this year it’s great because we’re all on the same page.”
The main thing about what allowed the team to fuel their second-half comeback was that nobody was panicking, according to Cohen.
“We felt like we had time but there had to be some urgency. We got that first goal and then we knew we had a chance,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy this one for a bit and then get ready for our next match.”
And that next match, as Cohen is referring to, will come on the road at Adelphi tonight. The Panthers are currently 6-0 with all but one of their games in conference play, meaning they are also a perfect 5-0 inside the Northeast-10.
Last season, the Owls fell to them, 3-0, at home when the Panthers got on the board early in the first half and then scored two more goals in the second to seal their victory.
In 2016, when the Owls had a 9-7 season, they went to a 1-1 draw with them which, at the time, gave 8-1 Adelphi their first and only tie of the season.
Back then, Wahlen was a freshman. Now being two years later, she said she has enjoyed coming over from Germany and being a part of the team.
“I used an organization to send my video around to different coaches and I just liked it here. I got along right away with Coach Cohen,” she said.
Wahlen is one of two athletes on the team from Germany and one of four overall. Nunez Escobar, a sophomore, is from Spain and Brunello is from Italy. The rest of the roster is from the northeastern United States.
After Adelphi, the Owls will face American International College Sept. 29. They will return to Jess Dow Field Oct. 2 to take on Pace, which will start a three-game homestand that will also feature games against Stonehill and Mercy College, Oct. 6 and Oct. 10, respectively.
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana