By Michael Battista
In a dominating display, the College’s women’s soccer team scored a victory over Fairleigh Dickinson’s Devils 5-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Coming off the previous Friday’s win, the team was hoping to start another winning streak after its last one was cut off at four games. The defense didn’t need to do much, however, as the women’s offense kept the action in the Devil’s zone for a majority of the game.
The goals came in the middle and end of each half, with the beginning of each having back and forth skirmishes for possession. It was during these beginning minutes that the Lions showed some flaws, as they missed numerous passes to one another and wasted golden goal opportunities. Sophomore midfielder Sarah Marion, who netted a goal and an assist, showed some frustration.
“Sometimes you just get unlucky in the box. It happens,” Marion said. “We’ve practiced those exact plays in practice before, too.”
However, these missed opportunities didn’t hold the team back for long, as shot after shot landed in the back of the goal. The Devil’s could not hold the ball in the Lion’s end for very long, only for one- to three-minute bursts. Marion believed that the backfield “was solid all the way through the game and contributed heavily to the shutout we had.” She went on to say that in the second half, the women’s offense “made it difficult for FDU to even get the ball past midfield.”
Coach Joe Russo echoed the statement.
“I think it is a combination of both,” Russo said. “The defending aspect in soccer starts with your attacking players and carries through to the back line.”
The Lions defense, lead by sophomore Brianna Petro, senior Lori Genovesi and junior Brianna Cummings, helped keep the total shots on goal against the Lions to three, with none needing to be saved by goalie senior Kendra Griffith. Players like Marion, junior forward Justine Larocca and senior forward Gina Caprara were some of the many outstanding players on offense, whose combined efforts took nine of the team’s 26 shots on goal.
Even toward the end, as both teams started to get physical with one another, the women were able to keep calm and focus on the task at hand.
“When a team’s tired, they get scrappy,” Marion said, saying that she believed both teams were losing steam toward the end of the game.
Looking at how the team is playing, Marion thinks each game is important, yet believes that “Montclair will be a big game” for the women’s team. The 7-1 Red Hawks play at the College on Saturday, Oct. 4, and will be one of the team’s biggest challenges in the regular season. Regardless, the team’s next game on Wednesday, Oct. 1, against Richard Stockton College is its main focus. Russo explained he sees “the next game being the most important (one).”
“The common theme has always been: Win the next game … and win the last game,” he said.