Women’s soccer fends off Elon to remain perfect in conference play

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Women’s soccer fends off Elon to remain perfect in conference play

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By Erin Merkel, news correspondent

Northeastern women’s soccer racked up another victory, winning 2-0 against Elon at Parsons Field Sunday afternoon. Elon started the game hot with a first minute shot on goal but fumbled a score into their own net and allowed the Huskies the chance to reorganize their offense for another goal.

The Huskies set a new record for their best start to CAA since 2005 with six consecutive wins.

During their last matchup in 2017, Elon scored within the first 53 seconds of play time and proceeded to make two more goals. Northeastern fought back to close the game with a 3-3 tie. On Sunday, Elon paralleled this play, shooting on fourth-year goalkeeper Nathalie Nidetch in the first minute. The ball bounced off the crossbar and flew away from the goal.

“Right after that happened someone got hurt, so we just huddled up together,” Nidetch said. “We know if we are just gonna scream at each other in a moment like that we’ll all just go downhill, so we all came together like ‘breathe guys. That was scary let’s try not to do that again.”

The Huskies adjusted to Elon’s defensive style by breaking their lines and playing at a high tempo but still struggled to overcome Elon’s 1-3-2-4 positioning.

“They played with a four back, two midfielders, and a flat three and one up top.” Nidetch said. “They basically sat back at half, so our defense had a ton of space to play. [Elon] stood there in those gaps, so when we had a player pop off into those gaps, it made it difficult to play through.”

Nidetch has blocked every shot on the Huskies in 496 minutes of combined play time since the start of conference play.

“I think we could’ve started way better,” Nidetch said. “I think I have a lot to do with that because I have a presence on the field, so I think I could’ve started us off at a higher tempo to prevent that from happening.”

Fourth-year forward Hannah Rosenblatt crossed the ball on a free kick into the six yard box, which was headed by Elon into their own goal. Head coach Ashley Phillips considered the goal a relief.

“It did let us calm down a little bit, so it was a relief when they scored on themselves,” Phillips said. “We’re discouraged we didn’t do better to start the game but it is what it is.”

Third-year midfielder Kerri Zerfoss headed the ball into the net after an assist by third-year defender Emily Evangelista and fourth-year midfielder Valentina Soares Cache, placing the Huskies at a 2-0 lead.

“We’re in a great place right now,” Phillips said. “We’re in control, but we can improve on some things and get back to training. We’re lucky we’re in the driver’s seat and we hope to keep that going.”

The Huskies (9-6-1 overall, 6-0-0 CAA) will play the College of Charleston (8-5-1 overall, 3-1-1) on the road on Oct. 14.