After a 4-2 conference win against Drew University Saturday, The University’s women’s soccer team will look to extend its 15-game unbeaten streak with a victory against Catholic University Nov. 2.
The Royals were able to jump out to an early lead against the Rangers after a goal from senior forward Samantha Russo in the 11th minute. Russo’s score, which was assisted by first year midfielder Kelly Egan, was her ninth of the season and 31st of her career, making her the 10th all-time scorer in school history.
Just three minutes later, junior midfielder Andrea Ricketti scored her first career goal from 23 yards out to put the Royals up 2-0. However, the lead did not last long as Drew senior midfielder Liz Loiodice scored back-to-back goals in the 17th and 18th minutes to tie the game at two.
The fifth and final goal of the first half belonged to the Royals. First-year forward Kelsey Bacon, who has come up big all year for the Royals, headed home a free kick from junior midfielder Ellen Walker for her team-leading 10th goal of the season just before the horn sounded to end the half.
Colleen Murphy, head coach of the women’s team, said that Bacon’s goal was crucial to regaining control of momentum for the second half.
“That was a huge game changer,” Murphy said. “ Drew really had a really huge momentum change, and us scoring that third goal gave that momentum back to us, allowing us to go into halftime with more confidence.”
There was no letup in the second half once Walker scored off of a free kick from the top of the penalty box in the 68th minute to give the Royals a 4-2 lead. Goalkeeper Kelsy McAnelly, who recorded two saves in her 12th win of the season, led the second half shutout.
Murphy said unlike years passed, the strength of this year’s team has been the offense.
“Having gone through some tight games where we had to come from behind, or win in the last couple of minutes or overtime, gives you the confidence that regardless of how the game is going, in the past we won these games and we can win that particular game too,” Murphy said.
With the victory, the Royals (14-2-1, 4-0-1 Landmark) gained sole possession of first place in conference standings over the Rangers (13-2, 4-1-0 Landmark).
With a win Saturday against the Cardinals (9-8, 2-3 Landmark), the Royals will seal the number one seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tournament, which is set to begin Nov. 6.
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