DENVER – The University of Denver women’s soccer team got five goals from four different players for its largest margin of victory since Oct. 13, 2013 (vs. IUPUI) as the Pioneers defeated Fort Wayne 5-0 on Friday night at CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium.
Denver (7-9-1, 4-2-1 Summit) controls its own destiny with one match to play in the regular season. A win on Sunday gives Denver at least a share of the Summit League title and pending the result between North Dakota State and IUPUI (12 p.m. MT), a win could give Denver the outright league title for the first time since 2013 (Summit League Standings).
“It’s a lot different than last year, we went into this weekend knowing we control our own destiny,” head coach Jeff Hooker said. “We put a good performance out here today. I thought that we could have been better in-front of goal in the first half. We created a lot of chances, but didn’t put enough on goal. We talked about that at halftime and I thought we did a better job in the second half.
“All-in-all, we did a great job of getting the shutout tonight and getting the second half goals early enough that we were able to give some players a break for Sunday.”
The Pioneers outshot Fort Wayne (3-13-2, 0-5-2 Summit) 27-2 on the evening and took six of the seven corner kicks in the match.
Senior captain and defensive midfielder Francesca Garzelloni (Parker, Colo.) led the Pioneers with a pair of goals on the evening, her first two of the 2016 campaign. Freshman Hannah Adler (Oak Park, Calif.) chipped in two assists on the evening, while juniors Angelica Pacheco (Taos, N.M.) and Riley Welch (Littleton, Colo.) and redshirt-senior Karina Fredette (Gatineau, Quebec) scored Denver’s other three goals.
A goalkeeper on Denver’s roster before being medically forced to play the field, junior Kendall Mulvaney (Newport Beach, Calif.) made her collegiate debut in the 65th minute and played the final 25 and change, taking one shot from her forward position.
Freshman goalkeeper Brittany Wilson (Littleton, Colo.) wasn’t called upon to make a save, but earned at least a share of her fifth shutout this season.
Pacheco will get credit for Friday night’s game-winner, netting the 18th minute breakthrough off Adler’s first assist of the night. Pacheco turned her defender and struck her 22 yard shot into the upper-right corner. The goal is the second of Pacheco’s career and the assist was Adler’s third of her rookie season.
Garzelloni scored her first of two before the intermission, finding the back of the net in the 27th minute off a set piece routine by sophomore Mary DeWalt (West Bend, Wisc.) and freshman defender Cheyenne Shorts (Denver, Colo.). DeWalt played the set piece for her second assist of the season to the head of Shorts who nodded it down to Garzelloni for the finish. Shorts earned her first career point with the helper.
Welch got the Pioneers’ first of two goals in minute 52, scoring her second of the season off Adler’s second assist of the night. Adler nearly scored on her own but her shot was saved by Amanda Cook. The rebound fell to the feet of Welch who smashed it into the roof of the net from inside the six yard box.
Garzelloni’s second came 55 seconds later as the redshirt-senior in her second-to-last game at CIBER Field got on the end of a Fort Wayne deflection and slotted her 12th career goal to put the Pioneers up four.
Fredette wrapped up the scoring in the 89th minute, beating the keeper on a 1v1 just inside the near post. Friday night’s goal was the eighth of Fredette’s career.