By Gordon Weigers, news correspondent
The Northeastern University (NU) women’s soccer team netted a pair of victories this week, stringing together its first consecutive wins of the season. The Huskies shut out the Boston University (BU) Terriers 2-0 on Thursday night at Nickerson Field and capped off the weekend with a 2-1 home victory over the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats.
Junior forward Kayla Cappuzzo buried her third goal of the season on Thursday night against the Terriers. It was the 12th goal of her Northeastern career and propelled her into sole possession of the 13tn spot on the all-time NU women’s soccer scoring list. Her first-half strike gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead right before the break.
Junior forward Carly Wilhelm added to the lead in the second half to cap off the two-goal win and bring Northeastern’s record back to .500 at 4-4-1. It was Wilhelm’s first score of the 2016 campaign and her first goal since September of last year, also against the Terriers.
The Huskies have now won four straight games against BU, dating back to September 2014. The winning streak against their crosstown rivals includes an NCAA tournament win at Nickerson Field, a game in which now-junior Taylor Caparo scored a late second-half goal.
Northeastern made the weekend count with its 2-1 triumph over UNH on Sunday at Parsons Field, a day on which the NU women’s soccer program honored alumni of the program with a ceremony on the field at halftime.
“We got the result we wanted,” head coach Ashley Phillips told GoNU after Sunday’s win. “Not necessarily in the fashion that we had hoped for, and the way we started, we thought we could’ve got a better result out of it, but we hung on and gritted through it.”
Just under 10 minutes into the game, senior defender Skylar LeBlanc picked apart UNH and found space on the left side. She gained ground before slipping a pass around the Wildcat defense to Cappuzzo who flew toward the net with great speed. Cappuzzo sent a pass across the box that missed Hannah Rosenblatt’s header attempt but found the wide-open foot of junior Hannah Lopiccolo, who bashed a shot in the lower left corner to open the scoring.
Only 3:06 after Lopiccolo’s opening tally, Cappuzzo caught a lead pass again and flew past her defender. She sent a quick ball to redshirt senior Breeana Koemans, who found space in the middle of the box before ripping a shot past the goalkeeper.
With 3:37 remaining in the first half, UNH junior forward Brooke Murphy drew a foul, and found the back of the net on the ensuing free kick to cut the Northeastern lead in half.
Koemans had a chance to ensure the lead with under four minutes to play after some great work by Cappuzzo in the box to draw a foul. The penalty kick by Koemans was headed for the right side of the net but was tracked well by UNH senior goalkeeper Mimi Borkan.
After the save, the Wildcats generated some momentum in their push to tie the game. Their attempt at a comeback climaxed with Murphy shooting from the top of the box that was steered aside by NU junior goalie Jill Quinn.
The final whistle of Sunday’s match marked the end of non-conference play for Northeastern as the team now looks ahead at the most important part of the season—Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play.
The Huskies will ring in the start of the CAA schedule this Friday night as they take on the Delaware Blue Hens in Newark, Delaware at 7 p.m.. Philips is sure her team will ride the confidence of their last two games into conference play.
“There’s a lot we need to work on still, and we’re going to continue to do that,” Phillips said. “But it just allows us to be a little more confident going into conference play.”
Northeastern will play four games on the road to begin their in-conference schedule, opening at the University of Delaware on Sept. 23 before its next home game on Oct. 7 against the College of William & Mary.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics