On Sept. 19, the Fairleigh Dickinson University’s women’s soccer team played Alvernia University on a chilly night at Robert T. Shields Field.
Both teams fought hard in this defensive battle, but in overtime Alvernia got the ball past freshman goalkeeper Anna Bandly with 8:13 left on the clock in the second overtime. Bandly had an impressive game with four saves, including a few blocked break aways.
“We need to remain positive. Personally this was probably the best I have seen a team play in a good number of years,” said Head Coach Kristin Giotta. “We can’t dwell on one goal, and we have to focus on several chances. It is never easy to lose like that and it deflates you.”
The Devils were coming off their first victory of the season earlier in the week, defeating John Jay College, 5 to 0.
The Devils have had a tough season and their record does not do justice to how hard they’ve been playing.
The Devils controlled the ball most of the game and looked like the more dominant team. Minus the one mistake in overtime, FDU’s defense played aggressively and was fast to every ball.
Sophomore Claudia Falconieri was all over the field for the Devils. In the second half, she made a fierce slide tackle that received an applause from the crowd.
The offense saw plenty of chances throughout the course of the game, but failed to put the ball in the back of the net. Regardless, the Devils outplayed Alvernia offensively. According to fdudevils.com, FDU outshot Alvernia 24-10, with junior Claire Donohue leading the game with 10 shots.
“Offensively we created several quality chances we haven’t been able to do the previous three games,” said Giotta. “We just need quality goal opportunities.”
Not being able to get the ball into the back of the net was not the only frustration. The other aggravation was how physical Alvernia was getting. Although on the statistics this game looked clean, it was far from it. There were a few instances where an Alvernia player knocked over an FDU player and it was not called. But the Devils did not let it go to their heads and continued to create chances.
“If a team is going to play physical we need to play quicker,” explained Giotta. “The more we possess the ball, the less chance they have to play physical.”
Alvernia, who improved to 6-0, did not look like an undefeated team. FDU beat them in all aspects of the game, except the scoreboard.
The Devils played Widener after the heartbreaking loss to Alvernia. Once again the Devils lost a close one by the score of 3 to 2.
On Monday, the Devils lost to William Paterson at home. The final score was 3 to 2.
According to fdudevils.com, the Devils made their two goals in a two-minute span late in the first half.
William Paterson made the game-winning goal with almost 19 minutes left in the game.
At press time, the Devils were scheduled to play one more game – at Lycoming – before conference play starts.
The women’s soccer team is now 1-8, but can still make the Mid Atlantic Conference playoffs if they do well in conference play.
Giotta feels like FDU could make some noise once it is time to play the conference.
“Our goal every year is to make the playoffs,” she explained. “We have an easier schedule on the road. If we can get three big victories on the road and two quality wins at home, we have a good shot to make it to the playoffs.”
The Devils have made post conference play for the past three seasons. FDU made an appearance in the ECAC in 2010. This year the Devils were ranked fourth in the preseason polls.
The first conference game will be on Sept. 29 at Misericordia University.