Finelli Sends Women's Soccer Past Manhattan
Aug 25, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette started its 2013 campaign off on the right foot and came away from its season opener with a 2-1 victory over visiting Manhattan on Sunday afternoon at Oaks Stadium. Alyssa Finelli's 68th minute goal proved to be the difference as Lafayette controlled a majority of the action from the opening whistle.
"I'd like to dedicate the first win of the season to my son who just went off to college," head coach Mick Statham said following the match. "This win is for him."
In the early minutes of the opening half, Lafayette immediately asserted itself on the offensive end and had the first threat when Finelli pushed a shot over the bar. The play resulted from a cross by Allie Torru, who made her way down to the Manhattan goal line on the left side.
Freshman Kaelin King converted the first opportunity of her young career with a left-footed finish in the 23rd minute. King ran onto a through ball by Finelli and wasted no time with the chance, sliding a one-time shot past Manhattan keeper Kristen Skonieczny into the far side netting.
Less than 10 minutes after Lafayette's tally, a defensive miscue led to the equalizing goal for Manhattan. A ball was played back to Lafayette goalkeeper Kelly Sposato, but the pass led to a 50-50 ball between her and the Jaspers' Janie Schlauder. Schlauder won the challenge and slotted a shot into the empty goal.
With a minute left in the first half, Manhattan could have broken the tie, but Sposato came off her line to stop Paulette Mohacsi's right-footed strike at the top of the penalty area. Following the play, Sposato exited the game and was replaced by freshman Danielle Sedillo and the teams went into the break tied at a goal apiece.
Midway through the second half with the game still deadlocked, freshman Elizabeth Scoda had a tremendous look from the penalty spot, but Skonieczny stood tall and smothered her attempt. Moments later the Leopards regained the lead when Alex Reisinger made a run through the midfield and fed a low pass to the far side for Finelli. The junior took a touch and unleashed a right-footed strike inside the near post to beat Skonieczny and give Lafayette the lead. Finelli's marker went in the score sheet at 67:59.
A solid defensive play by Kelly Chickering with six minutes to go eliminated Manhattan's best chance to even the score in the final minutes and led to Torru hitting the post on Lafayette's next rush. From there the Leopards kept possession well and held on for the 2-1 win.
"I thought for most of the game we possessed the ball really well," Statham added. "I thought we had a large amount of the ball and overall I am very satisfied with the way we played."
Skonieczny made five saves for Manhattan, while Sedillo turned away two shots in her first career victory. Lafayette held an 8-2 advantage in corner kicks and outshot the Jaspers 12-5.
Lafayette has the week off before returning to the pitch at Oaks Stadium on Sept. 1 against Sacred Heart. The match is slated for 1 p.m. as part of a soccer doubleheader, with the men's team kicking off at 4 p.m.
Lafayette has won its previous four home openers.
Goalkeeper Kelly Sposato and forward Kaelin King each made their first career starts for Lafayette.
Finelli registered a goal and an assist for the second time in her career.
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