Despite enjoying the better chances throughout the game, the Saint Joseph’s women’s soccer team was unable to breakthrough against Penn, instead settling for a scoreless draw.
Christine Neal, ’13, notched 2 saves for her third shutout of the year. Her opposite number, Penn keeper Caroline Williams, was equally stellar, with 6 saves of her own.
The Hawks (2-3-2) looked to have more attacking impetus in a slow-starting first half. Lauren Sawyer, ’11, had the first noteworthy attempt of the night, firing high from about 20 yards out.
Most of the flair going forward was provided on the left side of the pitch thanks to Maggie Lupinski, ’11, and Danielle DeBernardo, ’10. DeBernardo volleyed just over the bar on 26 minutes, while four minutes later, Lupinski fed a nice through ball into Sawyer who was just a step offside. DeBernardo had another go at goal on a shot that was deflected several minutes later.
Penn’s (3-1-1) lone chance of the first 45 minutes came near the end of the half, when midfielder Sarah Friedman blazed one over the bar from 22 yards out.
Out of the halftime break, St. Joe’s was again the ones pushing the tempo, but without creating a lot of quality opportunities. One they did have was in the 57th minute, when Lupinski did well down the left to set up Jen Pfeiffer, ’12, for a shot that stung the hands of Williams and bounded right to Sawyer, who put the follow up wide.
Pfeiffer was at it again in the 59th, hammering two successive shots, the first blocked, and the second wide.
Things got contentious in the 70th minute with a pair of yellow cards handed out to St. Joe’s Kayleigh Summers, ’12, and Penn’s Jessica Fuccello after a tussle in the box.
The game’s physicality picked up from there, but not the quality of opportunities. The last decent chance in regulation came off the foot of Penn’s Erin Beck, and was made much more difficult than need be by a fumble by Neal with she eventually got hold of.
Neither team had many opportunities in overtime, with Pfeiffer recording the only St. Joe’s shot, which Williams easily handled. Penn did earn a free kick in the 108th minute, and a failed punch attempt by Neal caused several moments of distress, but the Hawks defense wasn’t breached.
The Hawks outshot Penn 15-11 on the day, but the numbers aren’t indicative of the Hawks’ advantage in attacking play. The St. Joe’s backline also put in a stellar night, with Summers, Sarah O’Malley, ’10, Kaitlyn Grimes, ’11, and Brooke Brice, ’11, all playing the full 110 minutes, the only Hawks to do so.
The Hawks are in action next on Sunday when they play host to Syracuse.
-Matthew De George ’10