The St. Lawrence University women's soccer team suffered a 3-1 loss to Friday evening's Liberty League action at Sandy MacAllaster Field. Giana Abballe scored two goals, both assisted by Nikki Goodsell, and Goodsell capped the scoring with a goal of her own to lead RPI, which improves to 8-4 and remains perfect in the conference at 4-0. Meanwhile, the Saints fall to 6-4-1 with a 1-3-1 mark in the conference.
"This game was a tale of two halves for us," said St. Lawrence head coach Franco Bari. "We made a lot of mistakes in the first half which RPI capitalized on. However, we came out much stronger in the second half but unfortunately couldn't dig ourselves out of the hole we created in the first. Now we focus on Union tomorrow."
RPI scored all three of its goals in the opening half. The first came seven minutes into the first half, when Shannon Maguire got a hold of an ill-advised Saints pass at midfield. She played the ball to Goodsell who fed the ball through to Abballe. Abballe shot the ball past St. Lawrence goalkeeper Kelsey West for her fourth goal of the season.
Five minutes later, she scored again to give Rensselaer a 2-0 advantage. Goodsell earned her second assist on the day, as well, as she sent a cross from the right side and Abballe gathered the rebound off a defender and blooped the ball over West's head for her second goal of the game.
St. Lawrence's best chance to score in the first half came in the 17th minute when senior co-captain Brooke Hessney made a hustle play on the endline to keep the ball inbounds and passed the ball back out of the 18 yard box to first-year student Emily DePoy. DePoy sent a nice cross to the far post, but an RPI defender headed the ball out of the box before sophomore Mackenzie Collins could get a piece of it.
RPI had another good chance to score around the 22nd minute mark when Abballe redirected a free kick towards the right goalpost, but West the shot with a diving save. Maguire was at the post to onetouch a shot off the rebound, but DePoy made a great defensive save and cleared the ball out of the box. RPI maintained possession and Goodsell put her team up 3-0 in the 23rd minute when she scored a goal of her own from 25 yards out into the far corner of the net.
St. Lawrence kept RPI scoreless over the remaining 67:00 minutes of the contest, but were unable to overcome the three-goal deficit. The Saints cut the score to 3-1 in the 58th minute when junior Julia Friesen scored her sixth goal of the season on a penalty kick after she was taken down inside the 18 yard box while attempting to score. RPI, however, held on for the 3-1 Liberty League victory as they outshot the home team 18-7 and held a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks. Steph Vargas earned the win as she made four saves, while West suffered the loss and made eight saves in the contest.
The Saints will look to rebound tomorrow afternoon with a Liberty League contest against Union.