PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/6/2019 – Two local rivals playing a conference game. The Saint Joseph’s Hawks and the La Salle Explorers were trending in different directions. Throw that out the window. When these teams meet, it will be intense, and this game was no exception.
One goal was going to be huge. Saint Joe’s got it in the 59th minute from Dakota Mills, her third of the season and a team-high, from Kylie D’Ambra and Gabrielle Vagnozzi. The only score in a 1 – 0 Hawks victory. It was a cross inside the box that beat the goal keeper to the right.
“I saw Kylie (D’Ambra) had open space and I went for the ball, and got it to the back of the net,” said Mills.
The win breaks a two-game losing streak for the Hawks, who dropped six of their last seven games. A win is important, especially against a local and conference rival.
“It feels great,” Mills said about the victory. “This is rivalry time. It feels good against any Philly team.”
Once Saint Joe’s got the lead they kept pressing out-shooting La Salle 10 – 4 in the second half. But the team knew the back line needed to hold off the Explorers and good offense is also good defense.
“La Salle is an aggressive team and we wanted to try and keep it away from our defense,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Jess Mannella. “As a team just getting a shutout and a goal is a good team win.
La Salle, playing minus two players, got chances, but could not convert.
“We expected a little more activity in the final third, but credit Saint Joe’s they really locked things down in their back line,” said La Salle Coach Paul Royal. “I was happy with our back line and midfield that eliminated a lot of their chances.”
The Hawks improve to 5-7-1 for the year, 2 – 3 in the Atlantic 10. The Explorers, who had their three game winning streak snapped, post a 7-5-1 record this season with a 3 – 2 conference record.
“It comes down to who makes the fewer mistakes and that was them today,” said Royal.
With games having this type of excitement, maybe they’ll play again.
“We were excited going into the game about how we were playing,” said Mannella. “We just needed it to come together. There isn’t a game that’s not intense between Saint Joe’s and La Salle.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian