October 18, 2014
EASTON, Pa. – Back-to-back goals in the 47th and 48th minutes sparked the Lafayette women’s soccer team to a 2-1 win over American on Saturday afternoon at Mike Bourger ’44 Field at Oaks Stadium.
After falling victim to American’s score-opening tally at the end of the first half, the Leopards responded as sophomores Elizabeth Scoda and Joanna Scotti found the back of the net early in the second half and the Maroon and White held on for the win. The victory moves Lafayette to 5-8-0 on the year and 2-4-0 in the Patriot League standings.
“It’s obviously a big three points at this stage of the season with every Patriot League game being so crucial,” head coach Mick Statham said. “I was disappointed in the way we played in the first half, but the response after halftime was exactly what we hoped it would be. We had two great goals and a great performance in the second half to pull out the win. The back four was very resilient and a rookie goalkeeper coming in and performing really well is massively encouraging. It’s a big win for us and I’m very happy for the team.”
Just four minutes into the contest, it looked as if the Maroon and White were going to light up the board first as sophomore Kaelin King found an opening at the top of the American defensive box. King ripped a shot toward goal that clanked off the crossbar and was cleared to keep the game scoreless.
Both teams struggled to find much offensively for the majority of the opening half before the American breakthrough in the 44th minute. Streaking down the right side of the Lafayette defensive zone, the Eagles’ Kaylee Hillard found space to the right of the box and sent a low cross in front of the goal. Lafayette sophomore goalkeeper Danielle Sedillo got a hand on it, but couldn’t control it as it squeaked through to Hayley Mullins, who sent it into the open net behind Sedillo for the 1-0 advantage, an edge the visitors would take into the break.
The Leopards came out in the second determined to find the back of the net. In the 47th minute, King worked a cross in front of goal from the left that seemed to be meant for senior co-captain Jaclyn Giordano. Instead, the ball missed the outstretched foot of Giordano and slid through to a wide open Scoda on the opposite side, who finished across the line to tie the game.
Less than two minutes later, Scotti, again attacking the left side of the American defensive unit, sent what looked to be a cross in toward goal. The high dipping ball ended up fooling American goalkeeper Charlene Belanger, who let it drop over her head and into the side netting on its own as the Maroon and White jumped in front, 2-1.
Freshman goalkeeper Kelly O’Brien relieved Sedillo at the break and was excellent in the second half of play, making two saves to help the score remain at 2-1 to the final buzzer and earn the Leopards the win. Lafayette led in shots, 9-4, and corner kicks, 5-2.
The Maroon and White travel to Lewisburg, Pa. on Wednesday for another critical Patriot League matchup with Bucknell. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.