Alexis Legoalski shines in win over Delaware


Riley Robinson

Northeastern women’s soccer commanded the field Sunday afternoon as they won 2-0 against Delaware in their first conference match of the season.

Peyton Doyle, news staff

Every game counts during the season, but when there are just two tournament spots up for grabs among five teams in a division, the pressure is on. The Northeastern women’s soccer team (3-2-1, 1-0 CAA) could not have asked for a better way to start off their conference play than with a commanding 2-0 win over the University of Delaware Blue Hens (2-1, 0-1 CAA). 

The Huskies entered the game with an undefeated record at home and looked to get their first winning streak of the season. Prior to the game, head coach Ashley Phillips had confidence in her squad despite some of their early season struggles.

“The scores have been inconsistent but we have seen more and more of what we are asking of them each game,” Phillips said. “I thought that our last game against URI was the most complete package of Northeastern soccer that we have seen yet and I think that puts us in a really good place going into this Sunday against Delaware.”

NU faced a stout opponent in Delaware Sunday at Parsons. The Blue Hens had won their previous two games with a combined score of 7-1 and are coming off a season in which they finished second in the CAA. The Huskies showed no care of past score lines, however, as they established their presence early, living in the offensive half of the pitch.

Despite their overbearing possession play, NU struggled to get shots on goal initially. With the more conservative style, Delaware was able to bring their entire midfield back to help their three person back line, often having eight or nine players in or around their own box and forming an impenetrable blue wall.

Phillips knew that a three-back look would be a new sight for her girls.

“Delaware is going to come out in a different system from what we have seen this season. The last few games they have played have been in a 3-5-2, they like to keep the ball and get in a pretty big shape,” Phillips said. “We put some quicker-paced players up top to see what their three backs can handle.”

The attack for the Huskies did look a little different than usual, with freshman forward Gaby Scarlett playing the fewest minutes of her career thus far. Sophomore midfielders Ashley Reuter and Alexis Legowski led the point of attack along with freshman forward Rose Kaefer. Senior forward Chelsea Domond continued to play out wide but stayed mostly within the confines of the midfield in the first half, serving as more of a facilitator than a shooter. 

Fast paced play and long passing became integral to the team’s success against Delaware. With a little help from the howling wind, senior midfielder Mikenna McManus struck a wonderful ball forward to a barreling Legowski, who took it off the chest and moved swiftly into the box. Legowski danced away from one defender then curled the ball across the goal, and away from junior goalkeeper Lauren Krinsky bouncing it off the post and into the back of the net for her second goal of the season. 

Delaware could not muster up much of anything in response during the first half. Their best attempts came off counterattacks with players taking long runs into the Husky defense before being shut off by either sophomore wing-back Halle McCabe or freshman center back Allie Vazquez. Sophomore goalkeeper Angie Friel did not get much action, but when the ball was struck her way she confidently gathered it and carried on directing her teammates. 

As the clock winded down in the first half, the Huskies had some incredible opportunities ripped away from them by the officials. Twice in the final minute, senior forward Kayla McCauley had golden opportunities after rebounds off Krinski and twice the officiating crew blew a whistle before McCauley could lace the back of the net. 

Following the halftime break, the Blue Hens picked up their play. Using the wind that hampered them in the first half, they were able to strike the ball deep into the middle of the pack and get shots on goal. 

No matter how many shots they faced, the Huskies refused to give up their lead. Legowski threw herself in front of the ball whenever it dared get near Friel and when it did get back to the goalkeeper, she calmly defused the situation, clearing it away with a booming kick or gathering it up out of harm’s reach.

Offensively after a few minutes of Delaware pressure, the pack picked up where they left off in the first, pushing menacingly towards the goal. Domond looked rejuvenated in the second half, flying down the right wing and bringing a scoring fury with her. 

Domond sent attempt after attempt at Krinsky, who valiantly deflected the shots away but could not hold off the All-CAA scorer forever. 

With 30 minutes to play in the game, Domond received a pass from junior midfielder Tatiana Ortega and burst past her defender. She fired a shot into the opposite corner of the goal, leaving Krinsky frozen helplessly in place and providing the finishing blow, her second goal of the season. 

Despite the ferocious wind ripping through the field, the Blue Hens’ sails were stagnant and a comeback was not in the cards. The Domond goal punched a hole in their morale. Although Delaware got a couple of more shots on goal, Friel buried her opponents’ hope with poise and precision. 

The match marked the start of conference play for both teams. The Huskies will next play a non-conference game against Boston College at home, Thursday, March 18 at 6 p.m.