By Joe Barbito, news staff
The Northeastern University (NU) women’s soccer team rounded out the opening month of their schedule with a two-game trip to Philadelphia to take on La Salle University and St. Joseph’s University, beating La Salle and losing to St. Joe’s to bring their record under new head coach Ashley Phillips to 2-3-1.
The Huskies began the season in the Constitution State against the University of Connecticut with a 1-0 loss on August 19th. Sophomore goalkeeper Nathalie Nidetch posted a career–high 10 saves but gave up the lone goal with 13:43 left in regulation.
NU then played its first home game of the season against the University of Rhode Island on August 21st. After double overtime, the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
The Huskies’ first win came against Providence College (PC) when sophomore Hannah Rosenblatt scored the game-winning goal with 7.7 seconds left in double overtime. This was her second career goal, the first also being a game winner.
NU then went on a three-game road trip, which began with a 2-0 loss to No. 16 Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. After a two-hour lightning delay, the Red Raiders scored two second–half goals for the only offense of the game. Nidetch stopped eight shots, but the Huskies were held scoreless.
The Huskies then traveled to Philadelphia for a two-game set against La Salle and St. Joe’s.
In its highest-scoring game thus far, NU beat La Salle 4-3 on another late goal from Rosenblatt. The game opened with three quick strikes for the Huskies; freshman midfielder Kerri Zerfoss scored her first collegiate goal at 28:28 which was followed by two more team goals in ten minutes.
The second match in Philadelphia was more defensively minded. St. Joe’s held the score at 1-1 until the 82nd minute when they netted the deciding goal to end the match at 2-1.
Late-game goals have been an issue all season for NU, and Phillips says the team has been working on it throughout the off-season.
“We really tried to work on discipline and defense as a team,” Phillips said. “Less chasing, and being more organized on defense.”
She also said the record of this team does not reflect how they’ve been playing.
“There’s still a lack of focus […] we’ve created a lot of chances but also missed on a lot of them. We’re getting the ball in front of the goal,” said Phillips, who is confident her team will be able to fix this before conference play begins.
Phillips is also happy with her three-player freshman class. Zerfoss already has a goal to her name, and her transition to a centerback has been smooth.
“It wasn’t her position by design; she didn’t play there in high school,” Phillips said. “We have been able to utilize her for numbers in the back and it has worked well so far.”
She also said she is impressed with freshman forward Olivia Ware, whose speed and athleticism Phillips credited in setting up one assist. Phillips added that she likes what she has seen from Emily Evangelista and wants to give all three freshmen more minutes.
“I couldn’t be happier and plan on going with them going forward,” she said of her rookies.
Off to a 2-3-1 start in her first year as head coach, Phillips seemed optimistic about the program going into the next homestand and conference play. She credits former head coach Tracey Leone with being very open during Phillips’ time as an assistant, which she said let her begin running this team more easily.
The Huskies take on College of the Holy Cross on Thursday and Boston College on Saturday for two home games at Parsons Field in Brookline, Mass.
photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics