CNU Drops Catholic in Women's Soccer Action, 3-2
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- The Captains raced out to a 2-0 lead against Catholic University (4-4-0), but would need a gamewinner in the 72nd minute from Bupe Okeowo to get by the Cardinals, 3-2. Christopher Newport improves to 5-1-1 with the hard-fought victory, on Okeowo's first career gamewinner.
The CNU offense looked poised for a big day on a breezy, but sunny afternoon at Captains Field. Facing Catholic's second string goalkeeper due to an injury to starter Lexi Halperin, the Captains attacked reserve Amy-Lynn Friel from the outset.
It was just 10:26 into the match when the Captains cashed in for the first goal, off the foot of leading scorer Emma O'Reilly. Junior midfielder Joy Piirto set up the scoring strike by finding rookie Victoria Perry down the right side for a cross into the box. O'Reilly used a hard first touch to find the right side of the goal, adding to her great start this season with her seventh goal of the year.
Just six minutes later, CNU tacked on another goal, again set up by Piirto. A pass through the defense found Lindsay Mondloch open for a hard shot to the right of the goal mouth. Friel dove for the save, but the ball glanced off the post and back off the keeper into the goal for CNU's second tally of the game.
Catholic did not turn away, however, trailing by two goals late in the first half. The Cardinals answered with under two minutes remaining, cutting the lead in half before the intermission. Kirsten Wosleger slipped a pass into the corner for Nicole Perez, who had an open look at a cross. Her ball found the head of leading scorer Kaylre Greaves, who pocketed the shot for her fourth goal of the year.
The momentum would carry over for Catholic, pressuring the CNU defense and coming back from two goals down to tie things up just 3:52 into the second stanza. The Captains failed to clear a ball in the middle of the field and a deflection found Lindsay Aleman wide open past the center of the CNU defense. She took her space into the box and then laced a hard shot into the left side of the goal for the equalizer.
After being held to just two shots in the first half, the Cardinals attack woke up, taking eight shots in the second and actually outshooting the CNU offense, 8-5. Still, the early goal bent, but did not break the CNU defense, as the Captains would not allow another goal.
Instead, it was the CNU offense that broke through for the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute. Defender Erin O'Shaughnessy started the play, collecting a loos ball at the corner of the box. She lifted a head-high pass toward the center of the field, where Perry flicked the pass over the keepers head to the right side of the box. The first to reach the free ball was Okeowo, who poked in the open net goal for the gamewinner. It was the senior's third goal of the year and first career winner.
With under 20 minutes to play, the CNU defense picked up, led by O'Shaughnessy, Sam Rabinek, Abby Johnson and Kelsey Thomas. Rookie goalkeeper Haley Casanova picked up her fifth career win, making three saves in net.
Friel had a strong game in goal off the bench, stopping seven shots against the Captains. Greaves had a team-high three shots in the game, including two on-goal.
For CNU, Okeowo took six shots, with four on-frame, including the goal. O'Reilly and Mondloch added four shots apiece, with two on-goal.
The Captains will now look ahead to a tough road test set for this week. CNU rounds out non-conference play with a battle against No. 14 Lynchburg College (7-1) on Thursday, September 26 at 4:00 pm.