By James Duffy, sports editor
The Northeastern University (NU) women’s soccer team swept a pair of Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) games on the road over the weekend, taking down the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) on Friday, Sept. 30 before defeating the College of Charleston on Sunday, Oct. 2.
The Huskies are now on a season-high three-game winning streak and boast a 3-1 record in the CAA, putting them at the top of the conference.
“In our conference, it’s always nice to get to wins in the same weekend and also on the road,” NU head coach Ashley Phillips said.
On Friday night, sophomore forward Hannah Rosenblatt opened up scoring with her fifth goal of the season, but UNCW tied it up right before halftime.
After scoring just one goal last season as a freshman, Rosenblatt now leads the team in scores.
“Hannah [Rosenblatt] is one of those kids who comes in and works hard every day,” Phillips said. “She is a competitive kid, and she wants to win. This year, she has confidence, and her fitness level is through the roof.”
In the second half, senior defender Skylar LeBlanc was given a red card for taking down a UNCW player on a breakaway and sent off, leaving NU shorthanded for the remainder of the game. Still, the team remained resilient.
Junior forward Kayla Cappuzzo found the back of the net just four minutes after the penalty, and the Huskies managed to hold on for the win. UNCW peppered the net, firing 11 shots in the second half, but sophomore goalkeeper Nathalie Nidetch was up to the task. She kept the Seahawks off the board as the Huskies survived for a 2-1 victory.
“It’s a little bit shocking for everyone, but it does happen,” Phillips said of the red card. “The girls adjusted on the fly to what was happening to them.”
Riding the momentum from the win, the team defeated Charleston two nights later, also by a score of 2-1.
Senior forward Mackenzie Dowd scored the game’s first goal less than seven minutes after kickoff. Junior forward Carly Wilhelm scored the eventual game-winning goal in the second half.
The Huskies only managed five shots on goal in the contest, with two ending in goals.
Nidetch was strong again, holding Charleston to one goal on five shots. For her efforts over the weekend, she was named the CAA Player of the Week.
“She’s been stellar,” Phillips said. “She’s really been consistent throughout the whole season.”
With five games left in the season, NU currently leads the CAA with nine points in conference play. Phillips said to stay on top, the Huskies need to continue to remain true to their game plan.
“We need to stay confident and humble and do what we’re good at,” she said. “It’s nice to be number one now but it really doesn’t mean anything.”
The team will return home this weekend with a target on its back, as the College of William & Mary and Elon University will come to Parsons Field looking to knock off the top dog.
“They’re both very talented teams and I think it’ll be a great battle,” Phillips said. “In our conference anything can happen any weekend, so it’s about how we perform and if we show up.”
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics