September 10, 2007

Women’s Soccer Splits

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The women’s soccer team split its two games this weekend, beating Hartford 1-0 at home on Friday evening and falling to St. Bonaventure 4-2 yesterday afternoon. The Red’s thrilling double-overtime victory over Hartford marked head coach Danielle LaRoche’s first career win as head coach.

The Red (1-3) out-shot Hartford (0-1-2) 16-10, and threatened quick counterattacks throughout the contest. The Red’s defense was able to contain reigning America East Striker of the Year Megan Riemer, helping freshman goalkeeper Jodi Palmer turn away four shots in her first collegiate shutout. Palmer held the Hawks scoreless for 106 minutes, when a couple of freshmen linked up for the game’s only goal. Midfielder Lena Russomagno made a 40-yard pass to Natalie Zandt, who then dribbled past one Hartford defender and beat goalkeeper Elizabeth Cook to notch her first career goal.

Russomagno was proud her team for winning a game in which she thought Cornell was the better team. The Wilmington, Del. native suggested that the team’s continued work on its formation this past week was one of the keys to the win.

“We like to focus on our quick passing, and that worked out really well,” Russomagno said. “We moved the ball quickly and that really helped us out there.”

In yesterday’s match at St. Bonaventure, the Red gave up three second-half goals in a 4-2 loss to the Bonnies (2-1-1). Zandt opened the scoring in the 12th minute off a feed from sophomore forward Eva Dixon to put the Red up 1-0. However, the teams went into halftime tied 1-1 after sophomore Katelyn Shelofsky leveled the game with a 27th minute goal.

The Bonnies took the lead just 20 seconds into the second half off a goal from junior forward Kacey Weafer. Dixon assisted Russomagno in the 57th minute to knot the game at 2-2, but St. Bonaventure responded immediately with a goal from sophomore Leah Oleski. Freshman forward Anna Cunningham sealed the game for the Bonnies, scoring into an open net with four minutes to play.

Weafer’s goal at the beginning of the second half was not the first time the Red have given up a quick score. In the season opener, Hofstra scored four minutes into the game. St. John’s also put goals in two minutes into the first half and one minute into the second the following game.

“We started to break down a little bit,” Russomagno said. “As a team, we don’t have the mental edge that we need, and our opponents have taken advantage of it.”