EMMANUEL ADVANCES TO GNAC WOMEN’S SOCCER SEMIFINALS
BOSTON, Mass. – The 3rd-seeded Emmanuel Women's Soccer Team netted two goals in the second half to come from behind and defeat 6th-seeded Emerson College, 2-1, in the quarterfinal round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament. The GNAC Quarterfinal game was played on a rainy and windy Sunday afternoon at Roberto Clemente Field. The win brings the Saints to 13-5-1 on the season and Emmanuel advances to the GNAC Semifinals. Emerson ends its season at 8-6-3 overall.
After falling to the Saints, 6-0, during the regular season, the Lions came out of the gates with renewed vengeance, taking the first three shots of the contest. Emerson scored on its very first attempt, netting the games's first goal just a minute and a half into the action. Freshman defender Riana Odin (Trumbull, Conn.) sent a deep pass into the box, which was headed in by classmate Tayllar Righini (Salem, N.H.) at 1:24, giving Emerson a 1-0 lead.
Despite an overall 9-6 shooting advantage held by the Saints after the opening frame, the visiting Lions would hold onto the lead for the entire first half. The two teams would then play scorelessly for the first twenty-three minutes of the second stanza, before Emmanuel finally netted the equalizer.
The Saints, who had been quietly trailing for the majority of the contest, scored two goals in less than a minute to surge ahead. The game-tying marker came in the 69th minute, when junior defender Kristen Baker (Portland, Me.) fed Saints' leading scorer Lindsey Garvey (Warwick, R.I.) down the right side of the pitch on a breakaway. Garvey drilled a shot past Emerson keeper Allie Altman (Thousand Oaks, Calif.). The ball veered off the inside of the far post, before ricocheting into the back of the net. The game-tying goal was Garvey's 10th of the season.
Just 50 seconds later, Emmanuel netted what would hold up as the game-winner. Junior defender Shawn Crifo (Newburyport, Mass.) hit senior forward Meghan Zerba (Cumberland, R.I.) on a breakaway in the center of the field. Zerba sent her shot past a diving Altman and the ball rolled just inside the right post, giving the Saints a 2-1 edge. This was Zerba's 3rd game-winning goal this season.
Emmanuel's goalkeeper Jessica D'Ottavio (Pawling, N.Y.) made several phenomenal saves late in the contest to thwart any game-tying opportunities by the Lions and the Saints came away with the 2-1 win. D'Ottavio picked up the win for Emmanuel, her 11th of the season. The senior captain made 7 saves in her 90 minutes of action. Altman took the loss for Emerson, but made 5 saves in the effort.
The Saints finished the day with a 14-12 shooting advantage and Emmanuel led 4-3 in corner kick opportunities.
With the win, Emmanuel will now advance to take on Lasell College on Thursday, November 1st, in the GNAC Semifinals. This game will be played at Boston University's Nickerson Field and is slated to begin at 1:00 PM.
The 2nd-seeded Lasers defeated 7th-seeded Suffolk University, 3-0, in their quarterfinal contest. The Saints will be making the program's 8th appearance in the GNAC Semifinals.