MONROE, La. – After playing 109 minutes less than 48 hours earlier, the University of Denver women’s soccer team took care of Louisiana-Monroe in regulation, as the Pioneers topped the Warhawks 3-0 at The ULM Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon.
DU (10-2-0, 4-0-0 SBC) got goals from junior forward Kalie Vaughn (Fort Collins, Colo.), and sophomore midfielders Nicholette DiGiacomo (Golden, Colo.) and Stephanie Woo (San Mateo, Calif.) in the victory. Kristen Hamilton (Littleton, Colo.) assisted the first two Pioneer goals.
“They made it very difficult for us in the first half,” head coach Jeff Hooker said. “We were still able to get an early goal, but in the second half I think we played a lot better. Monroe was a much improved team than in previous years, and if they continue to play the way they played in the first half, they’ll win a lot of games.”
Denver took the lead in the eighth minute on a goal that was very similar to the Pioneers game-winner on Friday night. DiGiacomo and Hamilton played a give and go to each other, but this time it was Hamilton that played it behind the opponents’ backline to a running DiGiacomo for the tap-in goal. The match’s opening goal was DiGiacomo’s fifth of the season.
ULM (5-7-1, 0-4-0 SBC) was determined not to give up another goal in the first half despite Denver controlling much of the possession and dominating the shot count 14-1.
The Pioneers cracked the Warhawks’ backline again in the 54th minute on another combination play, this time between Vaughn and Hamilton. Vaughn beat her mark and got to the end line, took a couple of touches and played it to Hamilton in the middle of the box, who slid it back to Vaughn for the tap in goal.
Vaughn tallied an assist on the Pioneers’ third goal, controlling possession after a scramble in the box and playing it to Woo, who chipped it over the keeper to give the Pioneers a 3-0 lead.
Hamilton now sits on 23 points (8g, 7a), and Vaughn became the third Pioneer to reach double digit points this season after this afternoon’s goal and assist elevated her total to 10 points (3g,4a).
Juniors Lara Campbell (Anchorage, Alaska) and Maria Khan (Aurora, Colo.) split time in goal, combining for Denver’s fourth shutout of the season.
“It’s really nice to come out with two wins this weekend in two pretty difficult places to play,” Hooker said. “Our ability to get two wins on the road was critical in order to keep pace in the league standings.”
The Pioneers will return to CIBER Field next weekend to host South Alabama on Friday at 6 p.m. MT, and Troy on Sunday at noon MT. Both of the women’s matches will be followed by Pioneer men’s soccer matches, as they continue Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Play at CIBER Field against No. 9 New Mexico on Friday and UNLV on Sunday.
Tickets are available for $5 for general admission and $8 for reserved seat back chairs. To purchase tickets, visit DenverPioneers.com or visit the DU Ritchie Center West Box Office. Groups of 20 or more can get a discounted ticket for $3 apiece. For Group Tickets, contact Adam Sizemore at 303-871-2389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.