TEANECK, N.J. -- The Fairleigh Dickinson women's soccer team opened Northeast Conference play Friday night with a 3-2 victory over visiting Mount St. Mary at University Stadium. With the victory, the Knights improve to 5-5-1 (1-0-0 NEC) on the season, while the Mountaineers fall to 2-6-1 (0-1-0 NEC) overall.
This marks the first time since 2008 FDU has won its conference opener and for the fifth time in its 14-year history. The Knights also matched their win total from a year ago with their fifth victory.
For much of the first half, FDU held possession and was able to take a 1-0 lead very early in the 18th minute. Junior Amanda Goulet received a pass near the top of the box and found a streaking Connie Lewis, who made an impressive run across the box. The freshman took the pass, took a dribble and used her left foot to cross the ball to the back of the net on the lower-right side for her second goal of the season.
Four minutes later Lewis almost scored her second goal of the night, but her shot hit the crossbar. In the 26th minute sophomore Carly Tice received a pass on a lob and was briefly one-on-one with the Mount goalie, who came out and challenged to make a great save on Tice's shot.
Despite dominating the first 26 minutes, the Knights found themselves tied at 1-1 after senior goalkeeper Sage DoVale came way out of the box to stop a 2-on-1. The Mount's Ragan Cote passed in front of DoVale to the left and found Jackie Corley, who scored in a wide-open net.
FDU had a couple more scoring opportunities in the first half but could not convert, as it went into halftime knotted at 1-1.
Over the first 45 minutes, the Knights held a 10-5 advantage in shots and led in corner kicks, 5-2.
To start the second half, FDU had two more chances to take the lead, but in the 56th minute junior Kasey Schiavoni took a free kick from approximately 25 yards out on the left side and found the back of the net in the upper-right corner for her second goal of the season, giving the Knights a 2-1 lead.
Nine minutes later FDU extended its lead to 3-1 when Lewis found sophomore Esther Rochon, who scored her second goal of the year.
But the Mount was not done as they took advantage of a Knights' defensive breakdown three minutes later, as Corley scored her second goal of the night to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Lewis, who played great all night on offense with five shots, including three on goal, was robbed again of a goal, as her shot heading towards the upper-left corner was saved on a great diving stop by the Mount goalkeeper in the 81st minute.
However, FDU was able to maintain the lead for the final nine minutes to clinch the 3-2 victory.
The Knights, who held a 12-3 advantage in shots in the second half, finished the contest with a 22-8 lead, with half going on goal. DoVale made three saves on the night for FDU between the pipes.
The Knights will have a quick turnaround when they step out of conference play to face Penn for a 2 p.m. match on Sunday, Oct. 6 in Philadelphia.