Women’s soccer falls short, Franklin Pierce takes the win

Devin Bergeron, Sports Editor

Going head to head with No. 24 ranked Franklin Pierce, Saint A’s would suffer a tough 2-1 loss Saturday at home.

After starting off the year 2-2, the Hawks have dropped their last three and now sit 2-5 with a 2-3 NE10 conference record. Saturday’s game also marks the fourth time this year the team has lost by one goal. The team was previously shutout 1-0 when they made their trip to Southern Connecticut State University. Sophomore goalie Payton Wildrick had seven saves in the loss.

Taking Melucci Field to square up with the undefeated Franklin Pierce, the Hawks had their hands full Saturday. Luck would not be on their side though, as the team was on the receiving end of a pair of ill-timed goals.

The Ravens struck early, putting home a rebound that just hit off the right post at the 5:38 mark. They would sneak in another goal with just five seconds left in the first half, and in a cruel twist of fate, despite getting off nine shots, the underdog Hawks closed out the first half down two goals.

In the second half, the Hawks would get two more shots on net-one of which connected. With just over 20 minutes to play, Junior midfielder Caly Farina got her team on the board with her third goal of the season. Junior midfielder Kiley Larocque dished out the assist on the play, her first of the year.

Franklin Pierce just edged out Saint A’s in shots 15-14 while getting seven shots on net to the Hawks’ four.

Taking it to a nationally-ranked team and just coming up short, this loss has to hurt a bit more than others for the Hawks. Head coach Joel Bancroft echoed this notion after the game: “When you generate as many opportunities as we did against a quality opponent, it’s always going to sting to come away without any points… At the end of the day, they made a few more plays than we did.”

Farina’s third goal this season gives her a team-leading seven points, to go along with her eight shots on goal so far. Wildrick collected five saves to give her a season total of 43, having already usurped her 37 saves from last season.

The game was the team’s first loss at home this season and third conference loss in a row. Offensive struggles continue to plague the Hawks, as in six of seven games to this point, the team has only put up one goal or less. After the loss Saturday, coach Bancroft attributed the team’s misfortune to their tough schedule. Catching up with NE10 reporters, he offered his assessment of the squad’s grueling slate of games: “Our side has been through a ‘meat grinder’ of quality opponents early on in the season… This was our third nationally-ranked opponent in our last four matches.” Bancroft noted that the heavy competition serves as a good test for the group, concluding, “We will be better for it down the road.”

Looking to end their three-game skid, the team will travel to Bentley University for a NE10 matchup Wednesday.