The New York University women's soccer team stayed unbeaten in the early part of the 2011 season, defeating Ohio Northern University 3-1 on Saturday, September 10, at the Stevens Engineering Cup, played on the campus of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.
In a battle of regionally ranked teams, the Violets (#8 in the East Region) gave up the game's first goal to the Polar Bears (#4 in the Great Lakes Region) just 4:18 in, but NYU (3-0) rallied to tie the game late in the first half and then took the lead with just 15 minutes to play in regulation.
Ohio Northern (2-1) narrowly missed on a late tying goal – striking the post – before NYU added an insurance goal in the final minutes.
“I give the girls a lot of credit, because they stuck with the game plan, stayed composed and kept believing in themselves,” said Violet head coach Michele Canning. “There were opportunities for both teams, but we found a way to stick with it and finish.”
Ohio Northern took advantage of an early opportunity when Abbie Schauble found Kristina Klusek on a run through the middle of the Violet defense. Klusek finished, giving the Polar Bears a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute.
However, with several reserves providing fresh legs, NYU fought back and eventually tied the game in the 33rd minute on an Erin Ahmed free kick. Set up on the left side, Ahmed bent a strike that hit the the goalkeeper's hands and deflected off the far post and into the net for her second goal in as many games.
Both sides had chances to take the lead in the second half, producing three corner kicks each before the Violets finally converted on one in the 76th minute. Serra Tumay played a corner into the box, and after Catherine McLoughlin's initial shot was saved, McLoughlin collected the rebound and found the back of the net for her first career goal.
With time winding down, Ohio Northern came within inches of netting the tying goal. But Klusek's shot in the 84th minute struck the post.
Just a minute later, Leslie Smith hit the post for NYU, narrowly missing an important insurance goal. The Violets did, however, get that insurance goal with just 2:22 remaining, as Cami Crawford beat a defender off the dribble, cut towards the goal and drew goalkeeper Erin Waehner out. Though Waehner briefly knocked the ball loose, Crawford regained possession and scored on the empty net.
“I think how hard we've been working on fitness made a big difference,” commented Canning. “We used a lot of people off the bench to keep us fresh, and it was clear that our fitness paid off as the game wore on.”
The Violets will take on Ursinus College tomorrow at 3:00 pm in the final game of the Stevens Engineering Cup. The contest will be part of a tribute to Welles R. Crowther, a former Boston College lacrosse player who lost his life helping others during the attacks on 9/11.