By David F. Pendrys
NEW HAVEN, CT – Despite early momentum, the Southern Connecticut State Owls fell 3-1 to the Mercy Mavericks Friday night. A pair of goals from Mercy’s Heidi Serna got past SCSU’s Erica Ridella during the first half and in the second Jessica Brandt added to her teams lead.
In the closing minutes SCSU’s Caroline Staudle denied Mercy’s Ashley Price a shutout. Staudle had been battling with a defender in front of the goal mouth. She fell but got back right up, stayed with it and knocked it past Price at close range.
Southern had opened the first half putting a lot of pressure on Mercy with several drives, but at 31:27 a loose ball off a play stoppage ended up to Serna in excellent position in front of the net. She shot it to left of Ridella quickly successfully.
At 43:05 Haley Noble came up to the right side of the field and passed it across the goal right to Serna who shot it past Ridella before she could get back across.
For the second half SCSU deployed Gabrielle Arruda into goal though she would soon face Brandt who received an errant ball in great position and launched it diagonally into the upper corner of the net.
The dire score did not deter SCSU from continuing to fight. Head Coach Adam Cohen used repeated substitutions changing up half the team at once several times. This tactic seemed to work at least in keeping the energy up Southern did keep moving the ball into the Mercy end and prevented any further scoring. Eventually this would get Staudle in a position to score too late to save the game.
On the day Mercy took 8 shots on goal to SCSU’s 6. Price made 5 saves, Ridella 2 and Arruda made 2. Mercy rises to 1-0 and takes on Southern New Hampshire Sunday. SCSU falls to 1-0 and faces Bridgeport on Sunday.
(A non exhaustive list of other observations from the game. A lot more happens than is noted, but if it is noticed I noted it. It is possible that a player had numerous more key plays but in the midst of action it is not always easy to tell. )
Victoria Conde and Johanna Wahlen had a good setup on an attack though the effort did not succeed. Brianna Casey caught up to a long pass in time to get a shot. Kieran DiBiase also had a good opportunity.
Wahlen had numerous clears from the defensive zone. Kelly Lamb had a clear as well and Staudle cleared it from midfield early in the game.
Karoline Petersen, Deanna Ryan all had steals, as did Olivia Holubecki who broke up a Mercy drive.
Ryan disrupted an attempt and later got in the way of another Mercy effort. Brooke Davis intercepted a pass at one point.
Rebecca Conway had numerous interceptions including of a centering pass and also broke up a SCSU drive, she also had a clear.
Trista Seara, Kennedy Salerno, Kendall Wright had interceptions of SCSU passes. Wright also had a noted steal.
Salerno kept a ball in bounds with an effective combo of kicks and headers at one point as it nearly crossed the line.
Towards the end of the game, Mercy had a series of instances when they were able to get in the way of SCSU’s offensive prep in the zone.