By D.F. Pendrys
BRIDGEPORT, CT – The contest between the Bridgeport Purple Knights and St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans women’s soccer teams would come down to one penalty kick off the foot of Evelyn Hammer. She launched it home to give UB the win in the second half Saturday afternoon. The one to nil victory was otherwise dominated by Bridgeport who had most of the scoring opportunities.
Early in the first half UB had put on the pressure and managed some shots while denying STAC the chance to finish their attempts on net. Felicia Svensson disrupted a STAC run and Vanisha McReynolds got in the way of a shot. Bridgeport continued the pressure though had a shot blocked by Merari Rodriguez who acquitted herself well defensively throughout the game being a constant thorn in Bridgeport’s efforts. Halfway through the half the home team had managed to generate most of the pressure and plenty of shots, and also had set up a cross that had just missed the connection in front of the net. STAC had not managed a quality try of their own.
STAC did end up with a credible shot after 25 minutes had passed, but Bridgeport kept up the pressure and continued the lopsided nature of the game. McReynolds disrupted another STAC run, though Kiley Metcalf ended a UB attempt as well. Late in the frame, STAC goalie Colleen Stevens dived out to snatch a ball away form the UB rush preventing a quality scoring chance. Soon the half ended with both sides scoreless.
When the 2nd half began things would quickly change. UB renewed their pressure attack and just a few minutes in, a penalty kick was called for after a clear foul. Hammer stepped up and blasted the kick high into the net for the game winner. \
With plenty of time left on the clock, STAC renewed their pressure and earned a corner kick though nothing came of it, UB had some efforts in the ensuing minutes though many were stymied by Rodriguez. As the half wore on though Bridgeport kept going, letting go of shot after shot, some landing on target some not, but the attacks were continuing. STAC rarely was able to generate an effort into UB’s area. With just a few minutes left, STAC tried yet again but their efforts did not result in a dangerous shot attempt, and UB kept trying for the insurance goal as well. The whistle would soon blow closing things out.
Coach Magnus Nilerud’s Bridgeport squad is now 7-6-1 and 2-3-1 in the ECC. Coach Chris Nichol’s STAC contingent drop to 4-8-0 and 2-5-0 in the ECC.
Bridgeport goalkeeper Clara Karlsson made 1 save on 1 shot on goal, while STAC’s Stevens made 9 saves on 10 shots. STAC had 5 total shots, and UB had 20.
Shotwise for STAC, Katarina Ott had the team’s lone shot on goal and 2 shots total, as Lucille Bluntschli, Jacquelyn Kaplan, and Amanda Fuchs-White had the other shots. For Bridgeport, Andrea Basilicato, Hammer, and Morgan Dodge had 2 shots on goal apiece, while Samantha St. Pierre, Tori Smith, Anisha Hill, and Leigh Ann Ramsey had the other shots on net. Ramsey and Hammer had 4 total shots and Dodge had 3.