Salve Regina falls to Roger Williams in CCC semifinals, 4-3
BRISTOL, R.I. – Despite trailing twice in the game, the number two seed Roger Williams University Women's Soccer team defeated third-seeded Salve Regina University 4-3 Wednesday afternoon in front of a hometown Roger Williams crowd.
The Hawks came out of the gates on fire, putting up eight shots on goal on the Salve Regina goaltender Jessica Lane (Marshfield, Mass.). Overall, the Hawks outshot the Seahawks 16-4 in the period. However, they could not break through and went into halftime scoreless.
In the second half, Salve Regina scored a pair of quick goals and put themselves up by two early in the period. Seahawks sophomore Erin McCullough put the first score of the game on the board less than a minute into the half, hooking in a shot from the left side into the upper right corner. Three minutes later, Jordan Sileo took a pass in the box from junior forward and 2011 CCC offensive player of the year Kaitlyn Birrell, and shot it in for her third goal of the season, putting the Seahawks comfortably up two goals to begin the second half.
Despite being down, Roger Williams continued to battle, pushing deep into Salve Regina territory and getting some strong shots on the Salve goaltender. RWU finally broke through to tie the game with goals from Noel and Tetreault. Noel, who had a strong game for the Hawks, moved into Salve territory from the left and lobbed a kick over the outstretched hands of Salve's Lane for her team-leading ninth goal of the season at the 49:28 mark. Tetreault would tie the game at two on a putback on a loose ball in the 54th minute.
With a tie game, the Hawks continued their push to take the lead. In the 55th minute, Pendleton took a pass from Fusaro in the box let go a strong shot go, which was ultimately saved by Lane, who had a strong game with 12 saves. Despite the strong offensive push, the Hawks saw the tie broken by Birrell, who put in her team leading 19th goal of the season at 60:29, bouncing a shot off the top post that the referees ruled had crossed the goal line.
The Hawks responded with a goal of their own at the 64:11 mark. Noel made a cross from the left which bounced into the box, right to the feet of Fusaro, who put the ball in far side for her seventh goal of the season.
The Hawks continued to push offensively. They possessed the ball for most of the half, and in turn were rewarded with lots of chances, including a shot that rang off the post from Maddy Howard (Medfield, Mass.) at 78:18. They were finally rewarded for their strong play at the 81:13, when Pendleton finally broke through to give the Hawks their first lead of the game. Pendleton avoided the Salve defense and headed a corner kick backwards from senior captain Alexa Maher (Hopewell, N.J.) up underneath the cross bar and into the goal for her 54th career goal and eventual game winner.
The second-seeded Hawks (13-6-1) now move on to play fourth-seeded Endicott College, who defeated Western New England 1-0 earlier in the day, in the CCC Championship game at home Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The game will be a rematch of last year's championship in which the Hawks defeated the Gulls 4-2 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie in double OT. Salve Regina concludes the season at 13-6-1, setting a new school record for wins in a season.
Courtesy of Roger Williams sports information