By Giovanni Gray, news staff
Led by sophomore midfielder Hannah Lopiccolo, Northeastern University (NU) women’s soccer earned a pair of Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) wins against James Madison University (JMU) and Towson University this weekend.
The Huskies faced off against the Dukes on Friday night. They headed into the matchup with a 2-1-1 CAA record, having swept the College of Charleston and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington the weekend before. NU struck early with sophomore midfielder Hannah Lopiccolo netting the game’s first and only goal just under eight minutes into the contest. From there, freshman goalkeeper Nathalie Nidetch finished the first full-game shutout of her career. The 1-0 victory was the Huskies’ fifth shutout of the season.
Junior midfielder Breeana Koemans opened up Sunday’s scoring against Towson in the 10th minute with an assist by sophomore forward Kayla Cappuzzo. Koemans went on to assist the Huskies’ second goal of the game – a strike by junior defender Mackenzie Dowd which came with just over six minutes left in the first half. The goal was Dowd’s sixth of the season.
The Huskies managed to hold the Tigers scoreless until the 79th minute, when junior forward Natalia Pinkney scored her first of two goals. Her second goal followed just a few minutes later, evening the game at 2-2. After a scoreless first overtime, Lopiccolo sealed the win with her second game-winning goal of the weekend in the 100th minute, just 59 seconds into the second overtime period.
“We were up 2-0 at the second half, and they managed to come back. We went into overtime and we just finished it off,” Lopiccolo said. “Kayla [Cappuzzo] was taking it down the sideline and got it up to me, so I just dribbled around and placed it in the net.”
The game marks the Huskies’ fourth-straight win. It was also their sixth overtime match of the season, five of which resulted in Northeastern wins and one in a tie.
“Every time we go into overtime, we tell each other there’s no way we’re going to lose this game,” Lopiccolo said. “We buckle down and we play for each other.”
Lopiccolo added that the extra minutes haven’t been taking a toll on the team.
“Our team is a very, very fit team, especially because of all the fitness tests we had to do coming to preseason,” she said.
Lopiccolo was awarded CAA Co-Player of the Week honors for her strong performances.
The Huskies, with 13 points and a 4-1-1 record in the CAA standings, have three home games before the CAA tournament, which starts on Nov. 1. The first is against Hofstra University, which is tied for No. 1 with Northeastern in the CAA, on Friday at 6 p.m.
“It’s always great to play at Parsons,” Lopiccolo said. “Our fan base has been really great this year, so we’re excited and we’re going to hold down the fort… We’re going to be ready, and we’re going to beat them.”
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics