Women’s soccer has first win, Hawks at 1-0-0 in the NE10

Devin Bergeron, Sports Editor

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Saint A’s picked up their first win of the season Saturday, downing the visiting Pace University in a NE10 match to the tune of a 2-0 shutout victory. The Hawks were previously 0-2 on the ledger after a pair of 2-1 road losses. The conference win makes Saint A’s 1-0-0 in the NE10.

The team’s most recent loss was dealt a week prior when they suffered a crushing 2-1 overtime loss at Belmont Abbey. Two days before that they also fell 2-1 at Catawba. Goal scorers in the first two games for the Hawks were sophomore defender Bailey Conti and senior forward Corey Murray respectively. Sophomore goaltender Payton Wildrick grabbed seven saves across the two matches.

Heading home to Melucci Field, with a week of rest they looked to bounce back against the 2-1 Setters. Pace was coming off its first loss after winning their first two games to start the season.

Four and a half minutes into the contest Murray got off a nice shot on net that unfortunately found the arms of the Setters’ goalie Morgan Jones. A few minutes later Murray would get a second chance off a pass from sophomore midfielder Nicole White. This time she would connect, slipping the ball past Jones to put her team up 1-0, and give the Hawks their second lead on the young season.

The Hawks were anything but complacent with their one-goal lead though, and immediately came out looking to build upon it. Less than 30 seconds back into play Conti fired off a shot on net, but a nice save by Jones kept the game where it was. A few minutes later Saint A’s got another nice look, this time a shot from the boot of junior midfielder Roshelle Morrison, which was again met by their opponent in net.

Saint A’s continued to be relentless on net, getting off two more shots on net in the coming minutes. Around the 14 minute mark junior midfielder Caly Farina got off her shot on net and was followed by Murray less than a minute later. Not yet 15 minutes into the game, the Hawks had already put up six shots on goal, only one of which was able to find the back of the net. Saint A’s onslaught on goal would eventually pay off though as just under 25 minutes in, the team was able to strike again to go up 2-0. Farina was able to put one through and pick up the unassisted goal, her first of the season.

Each goalie picked up one more save to close out the first half. The Hawks outshot the Setters on net 8-3 heading into the break, clearly coming to play in their home opener.

Commanding their two-goal lead, the second half was just game management for the Hawks. After Wildrick collected a save on a Pace shot ten minutes back into the half, the Setters were held silent for the rest of the match, unable to put up another shot on goal. Both teams went scoreless in the second half of play, as Saint A’s held on for the shutout win.

It was clear which team was the aggressor in this one. The Hawks fired off 19 shots to the Setters’ nine. Wildrick picked up four saves in the contest en-route to her third career shutout. Murray was the spark plug for the offense. with her team-leading five shots on net, giving her seven for the season.

The team seemed to be firing on all cylinders Saturday, and after a slow start to the year, they now sit undefeated both at home and in the NE10. They will look to ride that when SNHU heads to the hilltop for a conference match Wednesday at 4. SNHU comes in with a three-game win streak, fresh off a conference shutout-victory of their own.

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