RINDGE, N.H. (September 16, 2017) – A 26th-minute goal by sophomore midfielder Gabi Pereira (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) would be all the Franklin Pierce University women's soccer team would need on Saturday afternoon against American International. The Ravens later added a pair of insurance markers in the final 11 minutes to complete a 3-0 win in Northeast-10 Conference play at Sodexo Field. Senior goalkeeper Casey Cook (Beverly, Mass.) made two saves for her third shutout of the season.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 3-0-1 (2-0-1 NE10), while AIC falls to 2-3-0 (1-2-0 NE10). Franklin Pierce controlled the game statistically, as the Ravens posted advantages of 16-7 in shot attempts and 9-2 in shots on goal.
The Ravens opened the scoring in the 26th minute, after they were awarded a free kick when AIC sophomore goalkeeper Mikayla Demanche picked up the ball outside the boundaries of the penalty area. Pereira took the free kick, just to the left of the top of the box, from 19 yards out, and tucked it into the top-left corner for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.
Franklin Pierce had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 just before halftime, in the 23rd minute, when senior back Gabriella Braga (Porto Alegre, Brazil) wound up with the ball and a shooting lane approximately 10 yards from the goal, on the right side of the penalty area. However, her shot went straight into the chest of Demanche, who caught the ball to silence the threat.
After much of the second half went without further scoring, the Ravens tacked on goals in the 80th and 85th minutes to create the 3-0 final. In the 80th, following a flurry of action, junior midfielder Bruna Tavares (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) tracked down the ball on the left-wing side, outside of the box. She sent a pass to junior midfielder Nathalia Maria da Silva (Sao Paulo, Brazil) at the top of the penalty area. The latter then cut to the middle, forging a shooting lane around a defender and struck the ball into the upper-right corner for her first goal of the campaign.
Senior midfielder Nalina Valaydon (Longueuil, Quebec) rounded out the scoring with her first of the season as well, in the 85th minute. The feed came from Braga on the right side, and Valaydon put her shot inside the left post from the middle of the penalty area.
Cook (3-0-1) stopped both shots on her goal to pick up the win and the 17th shutout of her career. Demanche (2-3-0) finished with six saves against nine shots on goal, and the defense added a save as well, in the loss for AIC.
The Ravens return to the field on Tuesday, Sept. 19, when they remain home to host Southern New Hampshire in an NE10 contest. Opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sodexo Field.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce soccer apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).