By LJ VP LaFiura – Print Sports Editor
Women’s Soccer lost 3-2 against the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs Wednesday at Taylor Field. Sophomore forward Priscilla Martinelli scored both goals for the Lasers.
“We just didn’t finish our opportunities, and then I think we started losing momentum as that was going on,” said Head Coach Vito La Francesca.
The Lasers took command of the early portion of the game, using an aggressive press to keep the ball in their attacking third. First-year midfielder Sarah Lynch made numerous key tackles and loose ball victories to maintain the Lasers’ possession.
“She’s (Lynch) just a very intelligent player. She knows the game, she’s got great skill, and she can see the game,” said La Francesca. “We just got to work off for that.”
Their early onslaught provided the Lasers with their first goal in the 36th minute. In Martinelli’s first match of the season, she offered a critical boost. In 18 games last season, she scored 7 goals and provided 6 assists.
“Bobby (O’Guin) played me wide,” said Martinelli. “I came, took the ball in, and instead of taking it to the line, I cut across and hit it near post.”
Following the opening goal, the attacking balance shifted in favor of the Corsairs. The Lasers needed big stops from junior goalkeeper Riley Silva to keep the lead at halftime.
“We had too many gaps between our midfield and defenders. We can improve on closing down the space quicker,” said La Francesca.
The Dartmouth attack gained momentum in the second half. Ashlyn Aguiar found Kait Bernier for the tying goal. After Martinelli’s second goal into the far corner, the Corsairs drew a foul outside the penalty box. Sending first-year defender Veronica Bock to take the free kick, she put a ball off of Silva which fell to Madison Durkin for the tying goal.
The tie held for 10 minutes until Jordana Golove connected with Kaitlyn Duarte in the midfield. Cutting past multiple lines of defenders, Duarte put a shot up by the crossbar, past Silva for the game-winner.
“They were driving the ball forward, and we just weren’t watching them,” said Martinelli. “We weren’t taking them up on the opportunity to close them down, and I think that we gave them an opportunity to be confident instead of shutting it down as soon as it happened.”
Unable to form a game-tying attack, the Lasers drop their third game to start the season and their last game before conference play begins. Their next game is Saturday at Dean College before they return home to face Emmanuel College on Wednesday.