Skyhawks defeat first ranked opponent since 2016
Henry tallied two goals and an assist in the Skyhawks first victory over a ranked opponent since 2016 (PHOTO BY: Andrew Katsampes)
EASTON, Massachusetts (September 18, 2019) – The Stonehill College women's soccer team, who is ranked No. 10 in the United Soccer Coaches' East Region poll, downed Franklin Pierce University, 4-1, who is ranked No. 18 in the national United Soccer Coaches' poll and No. 2 in the East Region on Skyhawk Field Wednesday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference play.
This was the first victory over a ranked opponent since 2016 when the Skyhawks defeated both No. 5 Adelphi University, 4-3, and No. 20 LIU Post, 1-0, and received their first NCAA Tournament bid.
Stonehill's (3-1, 1-0 NE10) junior Kayla Henry scored two goals, while sophomore Camryn Thompson and junior Alex Giardina each notched a goal. Giardina and Henry also chipped in assists for the Skyhawks' fourth-straight win of the season and second NE10 victory, while senior Kaitlin Brown tallied six saves.
About 15 minutes into the first half, Stonehill utilized their speed against Franklin Pierce's defense as Emma Slade fed the ball from the middle of the field to Thompson, who was to her right, dribbled and rounded the keeper to slate the ball in the back of the net for an early 1-0 advantage at 14:37. This was Thompson's second goal of the season and 11th goal of her career. Twenty eight seconds later, after the restart, Henry capitalized on a loose ball playing it off her knees as she brought it down the left channel. The junior lifted the ball up around the 18-yard box tipping the goalkeepers outstretched fingertips and to find the back left post to put the Skyhawks up 2-0 at 15:05.
Giardina recorded her ninth goal of her career (PHOTO BY: Mary Gettens)
Stonehill was called for fouls at the top of the 18-yard box a few times, but Franklin Pierce was only successful at 42:37, when Gabi Pereira set up for a set piece and struck the ball to the back left post as Brown was unable to get to the corner to cut the deficit to one, 2-1. Less than a minute later Henry was able to break past two defenders for her second goal of the game putting the Skyhawks back up by two, 3-1.
In the second half, Stonehill's speed, once again stayed true, as the ball came from the back field for Henry to create a chance from the middle of the field for Giardina. Giardina saw her chance to shoot after a touch around the ball on the left side of the net, putting it past the keeper to extend the lead to three, 4-1, at 70:54. The Ravens continued battling, bringing the ball to their attacking third multiple times in the remaining minutes, as they got off four shots to the Skyhawks' one. Stonehill handed Franklin Pierce their first NE10 loss, as the Skyhawks won their fourth-straight contest, and second-straight Conference victory.
Stonehill will host Le Moyne College on Saturday, September 21 on Skyhawk Field and prior to the game the Skyhawks will honor five seniors.
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