Second-Half Barrage Sends No. 19 Women’s Soccer Past SCSU, 4-1

Photo credit: Meg Stokes.
Photo credit: Meg Stokes.

RINDGE, N.H. (September 14, 2019) – Southern Connecticut State was left to rue its missed opportunities on Saturday night, as the Owls had several scoring chances through the first half and early second half, but failed to capitalize at Sodexo Field. As the second half wore on, the No. 19 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University women's soccer team turned on the offense and, eventually, the goals came pouring out, as if from a fire hose. It was four second-half goals for the Ravens, including a pair from sophomore forward Ciersten Palumbo (Holbrook, N.Y.), as Franklin Pierce opened Northeast-10 Conference play with a 4-1 victory on its home field.

With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 2-1-0 (1-0-0 NE10), while Southern Connecticut State falls to 2-1-0 (0-1-0 NE10).

SCSU had arguably the strongest chance of the first half, when junior forward Meaghan Kelley put her shot off the cross bar from the left side of the penalty area in the 13th minute.

The Owls would later have two golden opportunities on the other side of halftime, in the 48th and 49th minutes. In the 48th, the biggest threat came from Franklin Pierce's own back line, which nearly put the ball in its own net, but got bailed out by freshman goalkeeper Ithaisa Viñoly (Canary Islands, Spain). SCSU junior back Paula Nunez Escobar would also get a shot off on the play, which won a corner for the Owls.

The ensuing corner set up a shot from graduate student midfielder Juliana Santos, which would get behind Viñoly, and appeared destined to open the scoring. However, senior back Kiley Vermette (Enfield, Conn.) was on the scene and managed to keep the ball out of the net and the game scoreless.

From there, the Ravens took control of the game. In the 59th minute, senior forward Veronica Marques (Sao Paulo, Brazil) set up freshman forward Keyla Gonzalez Jaen (San Jose, Costa Rica) 15 yards in front of the right post, and the latter buried her first collegiate goal from there.

Just 10:15 later, in the 69th minute, Palumbo notched the first of her two scores of the night. Sophomore midfielder Jessica Magerman (Bellingham, Mass.) swung the ball out to the right side, just inside the top corner of the penalty area. Palumbo stepped into her shot from there -- from a nearly identical location as she had been stymied from on Thursday night -- and drilled the ball into the left side of the net for her second goal of the season.

SCSU would get on the board in the 76th minute. It was Kelley -- who had failed to convert several opportunities, including the crossbar hit, in the first half -- who finally put away her first goal of the year, off of an assist from sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn D'Amico.

The Ravens responded in short order, just 7:10 later, in the 83rd minute. This one featured a bit of good fortune, as the SCSU defense misplayed a ball and wound up sending it to the feet of Palumbo, at the top of the six-yard box, in front of the left post. It was an easy finish from there for the sophomore, as she capped off her first career multiple-goal game.

Marques added an insurance marker in the 89th minute, for her second goal of the season, to create the 4-1 final.

Viñoly (1-1-0) was a last-minute start after a pregame injury to the scheduled starting goalkeeper, and finished with seven saves against eight shots on goal to pick up the win for Franklin Pierce. At the other end of the field, graduate student Allie Smith (2-1-0) made six saves against 10 shots on goal and suffered the loss for SCSU.

The Ravens return to the field on Wednesday, Sept. 18, when they travel to Stonehill for an NE10 contest. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. at Skyhawk Field in Easton, Mass.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). 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' brand new online store (https://www.shopfpuravens.com).