Lions maul the Mustangs in NCAAs

The women’s soccer team easily advanced to the third round of the NCAA Division III Soccer Championship by dominating Villa Julie College in a 10-1 game Sunday at the College’s Soccer Complex. The Lions are 16-2-1 on the season.

“We knew we had to come out strong and dominate early,” sophomore defender Courtney Krol said. “I think we made a statement to the rest of the teams in the tournament that we are ready.”

The Lions certainly made a statement with their overwhelming performance. Outshooting the Mustangs 24-4 and earning six corner kicks while allowing none, the Lions controlled the game.

In the fourth minute, junior forward Dana DiBruno put the Lions on the board by placing a low shot into the right corner of the net. Then, with the ball bouncing around in front of the Mustangs’ goal, DiBruno netted the game-winning goal 10 minutes into the game. Senior forward Christine Mullin and junior midfielder Kristen Cubicciotti recorded the assists.

“It is important to play the ball into space and make good passes to get our players open,” Mullin said. “We knew they liked to pack their defenders into the center of the field and play a bunker-style defense. Our passes to the corners of the field exploited their game plan.”

Indeed, the Lions were able to control the game offensively by continuing to play good passes to the outside of the field. Goal-scoring opportunities came from effective passing and numerous crosses from the corners.

The shooting remained constant when sophomore midfielder Laura Delaney put the Lions up 3-0 by heading a cross from Cubicciotti into the far side of the net. Shortly thereafter, Mullin fought a Mustangs defender off the ball and placed her shot past freshman goalkeeper Casey Brown.

Junior forward Beth Pagano also recorded a goal by launching the ball into an open Villa Julie net, giving the Lions a 5-0 lead heading into halftime.

Junior defender Toni-Anne Cavallo kept the Lions rolling in the second half. Her header 48 seconds into the period was her first goal of the season. Sophomore midfielder Nicole Papola then found herself one-on-one with the keeper after a well-placed cross from Mullin. Papola calmly stuck her shot into the top left corner of the goal, pushing the Lions’ lead to 7-0. Sophomore midfielder Coleen Weber continued the barrage, hammering a low shot into the net for her third goal of the season.

Another goal from Pagano and an own goal that rolled into the Mustangs’ net rounded off the Lions’ scoring.

Villa Julie’s lone goal came with just 2:35 left in the game. It was scored by junior forward Tonia Cristino, her team-leading 16th of the season.

Splitting time in the net for the Lions was freshman Jessica Clarke and sophomore Amy Hashem. They combined for one save.

Brown made eight saves for Villa Julie, while freshman backup Kristina Lopez recorded one save.

“We put forth a great effort today with our passing and ball control,” Delaney said. “All the girls played very hard today.”

Next for the Lions is a home matchup against Middlebury College on Nov. 18 to begin the third round of the tournament. After a win, the Lions would play the next day.