Scarlett scorches turf in Huskies 1-0 victory


Mike Puzzanghera

The Huskies managed to cling onto victory Sunday afternoon as they played against University of Rhode Island, coming out with a narrow 1-0 victory.

Peyton Doyle, news staff

The Northeastern women’s soccer team (2-2-1) looked like they would come away with a commanding victory over the University of Rhode Island (0-4) early on in Sunday’s contest after a goal just 10 minutes in. However, familiar faults hampered the Huskies in the second half, and their match against the Rams went down to the wire, with NU clinging onto the victory.

The win was huge for the Huskies as they needed to bounce back after last week’s hard-fought loss to the University of New Hampshire before their next game, which marks the start of conference play.

NU opened the contest with their leading shot-taker, senior forward Chelsea Domond, out of the starting lineup. However, not having Domond did not seem to hold back the team’s attack. Freshman forward Gaby Scarlett took on Domond’s role early with her blistering speed on the wing. 

Everytime the ball got up the left sideline, all that URI was left with was a blur of white and red burning past them. However, on a couple of occasions,Scarlett’s speed did more harm than good with a couple close offside calls against her in the first half. Thankfully for the URI goalie, the referees kept a close eye on the freshman.

Scarlett delivered what would be the only goal of the match with 35 minutes remaining in the first half. Fellow freshman Rose Kaefer found Scarlett from all the way across the formation. Scarlett then dragged it past freshman goalkeeper Faith Hutchins and drove it past two defenders for her first goal of her collegiate career.

Defensively, the Huskies were in control in the first half. Their back line barely faced any pressure as the NU midfield dominated possession and jumped on any opposing pass. Freshman midfielder Eleanor Fisher and sophomore midfielders Alexis Legowski and Porter Dooley led the way in that phase of the game, charging to every ball and closing off passing lanes.

For stretches of the second half, however, the Huskies looked like a completely different team.

The opening five minutes were controlled by NU with Scarlett again stabbing into the URI defense and finding open teammates in the middle surging towards the box. The Rams were at the will of the Huskies; they just had to hope for a block or errant shot to slow them down.

NU constantly threatened to start the half but could not get any shots to hit the back of the net. The URI back line battled well to meet their opponents in the box and deflect attempts.

After a flurry of passes again placed the Huskies within scoring range, a foul just outside the box set them up for a wonderful chance off a free kick. Senior forward Mikenna McManus stepped forward and rifled a near-perfect shot into the upper left corner of the goal, barely pinging it off of the cross bar and to the feet of a URI defender.

The Rams took advantage of this fortuitous deflection and began to apply pressure of their own. The Huskies were pushed back; the aggressors became the agressees, and they found themselves trapped in their half of the field. This lull persisted for about 10 minutes until a swift counter attack appeared to have given NU a two-goal advantage. 

Fisher delivered a great cross that squeaked past Hutchins to Kaefer, but the ball drifted just past her outstretched foot.

The Rams played their best after a narrow miss by the Huskies as they responded with menace and kept their feet on the gas for the remainder of the game. 

NU has struggled this season with brief lapses of concentration and intensity throughout the course of each of their matches. Prior to the game, head coach Ashley Phillips discussed the team’s issues with playing a full game. 

“I think everyone is frustrated because of the fact that we know how good they are,” Phillips said. “For us we just keep talking about the focus – the details.There are certain moments in practice where they are not entirely focused or dialed in, and we see that come through on gameday for 20 minutes, and we let up a goal.”

Luckily for NU, their less than stellar second half did not cost them any goals, but the game threatened to get out of hand as the clock winded down. A surge of turnovers and questionable officiating left the Huskies holding their breath in the final 10 minutes of play. 

Sophomore goalkeeper Angeline Friel was forced to make a few key saves for her team as URI continued to prod the NU defense. The Huskies also faced three consecutive corner kicks in those closing minutes with each one being cleared away by either Friel or Legowski. 

Free kick after free kick from the Rams continued to hound the Huskies, but the team held out, matching their opponents’ constant physicality.

Phillips commended her squad for their ability to hold onto the lead and come out on top in what became a dog fight in the closing minutes.

“In the end we just gritted it out. We weathered the storm and came away with the win,” Phillips said.

The next game for the NU will be their first CAA matchup of the season at home against the University of Delaware Blue Hens (1-0) March 7 at 1 p.m. Next week’s matchup will be the second game of a three-game home stand, where the Huskies are undefeated this season.