PHILADELPHIA, PA. 9/27/2918 – It was a chilly, drizzly night at Sweeney Field, a reminder from Mother Nature that fall and winter are coming. That did not bother the Saint Joseph’s Hawks at all in their 3 – 0 win over the Richmond Spiders in Atlantic 10 women’s soccer.
“The last couple of weeks it has been raining,” said senior forward Michaela Finneyfrock. “We were able to get used to that. The rain did not play a factor. We did a good job of adjusting to how slick it was.”
When conditions are not at their optimal, as this was, it is important to get the first goal of the game. The Hawks got it when Finneyfrock sent one into the upper left corner of the net unassisted less than four minutes into the game.
“There was a mistouch and I was able to get my foot in there around the top of the box, so I just took the shot,” Finneyfrock said.
An early goal is something the Hawks strive for each game. It was big for the team.
Just for the momentum, we said our goal is to have a goal in the first fifteen minutes of each game,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Jess Mannella. “Starting strong and having each possession is what the key was to this game.”
“We try to set the tone especially on our home field,” Finneyfrock said about the fast start. “They’re not used to this field, we are. We need to put in the energy and get the first goal.”
Saint Joe’s got the next two scores. Senior forward Hannah Racis put a header in the goal on a corner kick for junior forward Gabrielle Vagnozzi at the 15:12 mark. The Hawks closed out the scoring on a scorer when Finneyfrock put home her second goal of the game in the 31st minute.
The Hawks defense kept the ball away from the their net. Senior goal keeper Grace Bendon made one save. That shot came in the 66th minute. SJU out shot Richmond by a 15 – 1 margin.
“What we are trying to do is better possess so we can stop pressure on our backs,” Mannella said. “The result was a shutout which was nice.”
Saint Joe’s improves to 7 – 3 -2 on the season and gets 3 more points in the Atlantic 10 where the team is 2 – 1 – 0. The Hawks are trying to move into the upper echelon of the standings, so all league wins are important. SJU travels to Dayton for a Sunday game in Ohio.
“We take everything one game at a time,” Mannella said about the win. This Richmond win is huge. Now, we look to Dayton.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian