By Giovanni Gray, news staff

Northeastern University (NU) women’s soccer bounced back after a slow start to Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play this weekend at Parsons Field, beating the College of Charleston 2-1 and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) 3-2.

The Huskies faced off against Charleston on Friday evening. NU won each of its two previous matchups against the Cougars. Headed into the weekend, the Huskies were 0-1-1 in conference play, while the Cougars sat at 2-0-0.

Scoring opened up in the 15th minute, with NU taking a 1-0 lead when a Charleston defender deflected a shot into the goal. In the 29th minute, junior midfielder Carina Deandreis gave the Huskies a 2-0 advantage with her second goal of the season, and the team held the Cougars scoreless in the first half. Freshman goalkeeper Nathalie Nidetch, who played a full 90 minutes with three saves, didn’t surrender Charleston’s lone score until the 87th minute.

Twelve shots were posted by the Huskies, four of which belonged to sophomore forward Kayla Cappuzzo, with Charleston goalkeeper Lauren Killian totaling six saves.

Sunday saw the Huskies take on UNCW, a squad that hadn’t lost a match since its Aug. 30 bout with No. 23 Clemson University. UNCW boasted a 2-1-0 CAA record and overall record of 9-3-1 prior to the matchup with Northeastern. Once again, the Huskies opened up scoring in the 39th minute.

Freshman midfielder Nicole Gorman scored her second collegiate goal, with an assist from junior defender Kimberly Slade. UNCW would answer back two minutes later, with senior midfielder Katrina Guillou tying the game at one score each.

The two teams went on to exchange another pair of goals in the second half, with Guillou scoring another goal for UNCW in the 81st minute. Junior defender Mackenzie Dowd went on to tie the game just a few minutes later, scoring off a penalty kick. Regulation ended with a last-second shot by Deandreis, which was saved by UNCW goalkeeper Carolyn Huddy.

Overtime lasted just 53 seconds, until Dowd netted the game-winner, her fifth goal on the season.

“The person who was defending me was kind of taking the outside channel, so I decided to cut in and she didn’t pressure me,” Dowd told GoNU.com. “I thought I’d just go for it and see what happens.”

Dowd talked about the difficulty of playing a tough CAA opponent like UNCW.

“They’re on top of our conference, so we wanted to prove ourselves against them,” she said. “I think we did just that and grinded out a good win.”

Head Coach Tracey Leone praised Dowd’s strong play late in the game.

“She did great, she’s a pressure player,” Leone told GoNU. “You know, the bigger the pressure, the bigger the player she becomes. She always wants to step up in those big moments and really has all the time for us, and certainly did today, not just on one occasion but on two.”

Accolades rolled in for the Huskies, as Dowd was named CAA Co-Player of the Week as well as a member of the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week. Gorman took home the CAA Rookie of the Week award.

This weekend, the Huskies head down south again to take on two more CAA opponents– James Madison University and Towson University, in Virginia and Maryland, respectively. The Huskies then return to face off against their final three regular-season opponents at Parsons Field starting Oct. 16.

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics