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Sports

Women’s Soccer Perfect at Home

womens-soccerMU women's soccer defeated Rider University Broncs on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at The Great Lawn with a final score of 3-0. With the win, the blue and white improve to 12-1-1 in the season, 6-0-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and 8-0 at home.

Freshman forward Julie Spracklin led the way for the Hawks with one goal and one assist. Senior forward Dana Costello and freshman forward Alexis McTamney also contributed with one goal each.

MU started off the game by controlling the tempo as they held possession for the first 20 minutes of the game. In the ninth minute, sophomore defender Colleen Howard drew a penalty in the box. Costello stood at the six and took a calm, confident shot that soared into the left upper corner for a 1-0 lead.

The second half began with Rider trying to find an equalizer. In the 50th minute, a Bronc took a shot that curled to the upper post, but Hawks senior net-minder Ashley Lewis got her fingertips on the ball to force a corner kick.

Five minutes later, the Broncs had another opportunity to score when they took a free kick from about 30 yards out; the ball curved up and over the defensive wall, landing right into the hands of Lewis. In the 59th minute, the blue and white were looking to increase their lead as Spracklin fired a line drive from about 20 yards out that sailed over the crossbar.

The second half had many missed opportunities for both teams, as it was constant back and forth play. The Hawks got close to gaining their second goal in the 70th minute of play as McTamney crossed the ball from the left flank into the box toward freshman forward Erica Murphy. Murphy could not capitalize on the play as she stumbled and lost the ball to a Rider defender.

Rider then cleared the ball, but MU junior defender Alexa Freguletti quickly gained possession and dribbled it up the field to fire a shot from about 25 yards out. The shot went past the left post giving Rider the ball.

In the 83rd minute, the blue and white increased their lead to 2-0 when McTamney received a throw in and sent a through ball past two defenders onto the streaking Spracklin. Spracklin was able to get a shot off, but Rider goal keeper deflected the ball to keep the game at 1-0. Spracklin was not prepared to give up as she gained possession of the deflected ball and placed it in the back of Rider's net.

"It was a relief, I used to score all the time and it's so different playing midfield, it feels awesome to score," Spracklin said of her third goal of the season.

MU was not done their scoring spree. The women added one more goal in the 88th minute of play when Spracklin passed it onto McTamney, who scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season and secured a win for the Hawks.

"I thought in the first 20 minutes of the game we were very good but we only had one goal to show for it," head coach Krissy Turner said. "In the second half we relaxed a little bit and thought the game was over. But great teams find a way to win and right now we're playing pretty well and finding ways to win."

MU outshot the Broncs 22-11, forcing Rider's goalkeepers to make nine stops. Lewis contributed four saves in the game for MU.

The Hawks topped another MAAC challenge, the Marist Red Foxes, on Saturday, Oct. 19 with a final score of 1-0. With the win, the women post eleven shutouts for the season and extend their winning streak to nine straight games. Murphy netted the only goal of the game with the assist coming from Costello.

Before the game, MU honored its senior class of Lewis, Alexandra Baca, Monique Plescia, Tina Antzoulatos, Karly Tolentino and Costello, who have been a part of 44 victories for the Hawks and combine a 26-8-4 record in conference play thus far.

With the victory, the blue and white complete their home slate with a perfect 9-0 record. This marks the sixth time in team history that the blue and white were undefeated at home.

"To be undefeated at home is an awesome accomplishment," Turner said. "I credit our players for having the discipline to maintain the home field advantage on The Great Lawn, as well as our grounds crew for doing a fantastic job of keeping the field in pristine condition."

Murphy's goal came in the 33rd minute of play, as she scored off a low driven corner kick from Costello. The goal was Murphy's first of her career and marked Costello's 26th assist, which is the third highest in team history.

"It's an unbelievable feeling because there have been so many great players that have come through this program and there are so many great players on my team right now," Costello continued. "Just to know that I am amongst those caliber of the others is very humbling, and it makes me want to work harder and continue to improve."

MU heavily outshot Marist, 20-5, while Lewis made two saves.

The Hawks return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 23, when they travel to face Saint Peter's for a 3:00 pm game.

PHOTO COURTESY of Jim Reme

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