October 19, 2008
It was the underclassmen who made sure of the win on Senior Day.
Juniors Nicole Doran and Kelly McConnell were the goalscorers in the women’s soccer team’s 2-0 victory over Seton Hall after seniors Rebecca Capinera, Brittany Cavarra and Jacklyn James were honored in a ceremony before the game.
“It’s a bit of an anticlimax if you don’t actually get the win on the Senior Day,” head coach Ian Stone said.
The win – their third in a row – was an important one for a team that sits in fifth place in the American League and holds the final spot in the Big East Tournament.Goalkeeper Kristin Russell, who had two saves in the game, said she wanted to win this one for her senior teammates.
“We stepped up our game for them,” the freshman said. “We wanted to win our last game on Belson for them.”
In the 12th minute, defenseman Nicole Doran quickly head butted the ball off a corner kick from teammate Courtney Lane. It was Doran’s first career goal.
The second goal came in the 66th minute, where Kelly McConnell scored her second goal of the season. Sarah McGrath got the assist.But that one assist could not describe McGrath’s tenacity throughout the game. She constantly attacked the ball, playing aggressively on both offense and defense. “I got a few frustrations built up from the season,” McGrath said. “I use it in a positive way.”
This win also marks their 10th shutout of the season, which is a new school record. “We do a lot of work on our defending,” Stone said. “It isn’t just the goalkeeper or the defenders, everybody is working really hard to make sure that we are compact defensively, we make good decisions. Hopefully, the goals will start coming in as well now.”
Russell said that there is more to the shutouts than just the goalie keeping the ball away from the net. She gives credit to the rest of her team. “The shutout wouldn’t be just me,” she said. “It’s a team effort.”Pirates midfielder Katie Andreski, who leads the team in goals scored, was limited to just one shot attempt.
The struggling Pirates (5-9-2), who were on a three-game losing streak before Sunday’s game, came out looking aggressive. They held the Red Storm on their own side of the field. They were not able to cross midfield until the 3rd minute.
Stone said that the weather conditions on the field played a factor as well as the pressure from the Pirates that led to the tough beginning to the game.
“It was one of those types of games where the wind played a factor and it was difficult for us to get out,” Stone said. “In the first half, they pressured really well against us. We were able to rotate our players in and to use our depth. [It] made a difference in the second half we looked a little bit fresher than they did.”
In the second half, the Red Storm seemed to have caught a second wind. They looked more like the team with chances in the Big East Tournament.