Women’s soccer dominates on both sides of the field
Sam Tapper — Sports Writer
After losing a heartbreaker to Southern New Hampshire in overtime, the Owls women’s soccer team came out aggressively and picked up a 2-0 non-conference win over Queens College at Jess Dow Field. For the Owls, the night would serve as a fundraiser for two foundations: the ‘Vs. Cancer Foundation,’ whose mission is to empower any athlete, team or community to help kids with cancer, and ‘Kick For Nick,’ a foundation that introduces soccer and donates balls to underprivileged children in tribute to Private First-Class, Nicholas A. Madaras, who died in Iraq in 2006.
“I love being a part of both of those causes,” said head coach Adam Cohen, “and I think it’s great for our studentathletes, because I know it’s important to them, because they feel like they’re a part of something bigger than just soccer.”
During the game, the Owls looked to assert themselves early offensively with multiple shots on goal in the first half, including a penaltykick that just missed from midfielder Marisa Grisell, a senior, in the 15th minute.
The Owls then opened the scoring just nine minutes later, thanks to a long goal from Owls forward Meaghan Kelley, a junior, after collecting a loose ball on the far side. This was Kelley’s second goal this season, joining fellow Owls like midfielder Kaitlyn D’Amico, a sophomore, and forwards Johanna Wahlen, a senior, and Rossella Graniero, a junior, with multiple goals this year.
“I know over in the corner [Graniero] and I were both getting the ball from Greta [Brunello] off of the throw in,” said Kelley on her goal, “and, next thing I knew, I was going through two defenders and the ball ended up in the back of the net with my left foot.”
The Owls took that 1-0 lead into halftime, but they were not done there. In the 54th minute of the second half, the Owls struck again on a goal from D’Amico. The sequence began with graduate student Paula Nunez sending a cross into the box for D’Amico, who headed the shot-on-goal. Though the goalkeeper from Queens’ saved the header, D’Amico got the rebound and sent it into the net to give the Owls a 2-0 advantage.
“When Paula was on the flank, I usually know where her crosses are going,” D’Amico said of with a smile. “I just tracked the ball, and that’s what I did.”
Though the Owls’ offense was aggressive all night, putting up 15 shots and nine shots-on-goal, it was their defense that stood out.
Owls’ goalkeeper Allie Smith, a graduate student, would record her fourth shutout on the year and improve her goals-against average to 0.96, but her defense was able to limit Queens to just five shots and four shots on goal, and she was able to save all of them.
“Defending is really a team effort,” said Cohen. “It’s all eleven players on
the field working together, not just the goalkeeper, so the team works to prevent chances on-goal, and you’ve got a security net knowing that you have a great goalkeeper back there.”
With the win, the Owls improved to 5-2-1 for this year and 3-1-0 at Jess Dow Field. The Owls also improved to 3-0-1 in non-conference games this season. The Owls now have a five-game road trip ahead of them before returning home to face the University of New Haven on Oct. 22.