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Purple Eagles Kick Start Conference Play

Article Written by Michelle Kokot
Published: September 27, 2012


NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – The Niagara women’s soccer team looks to start off conference play on a strong note when it hosts the Siena Saints on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. and then welcomes the Marist Red Foxes on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.

Follow All the Action
Live stats for Friday’s contest against Siena and Sunday’s afternoon game versus Marist will be available.  A free live webcast on the Purple Eagles Network will also be available for both games. 

Sunday’s contest between the Purple Eagles and the Red Foxes can be seen in the Buffalo/Niagara area courtesy of Lockport Community Television (LCTV) on tape-delay. 

Purple Eagles 101
Niagara (5-4-0) enters conference play having won a thrilling game against the Cornell Big Red last Sunday, after nearly accomplishing a dramatic comeback against St. Bonaventure on Friday. 

NU has received offensive contributions from all across the board, with 11 different Purple Eagles earning points while nine of those have tallied at least one goal so far this season.  There is a three-way tie on the team for points (6) between junior Danielle Kennedy, senior Jamie Raepple and freshman Maria Siegrist-Gabas.  Kennedy is fifth in the conference and tops on the team in goals (3), while Siegrist-Gabas leads the squad with four helpers. 

Freshman keeper Claire Feiertag has started in all nine games this season, currently owning a .815 save percentage and an 1.14 goals-against average, with three shutouts to her name. 

Scouting Siena
The Saints come to Monteagle Ridge with a 4-5-0 record, recently owning a four-game winning streak before dropping a 1-0 decision to UMass. 

Junior forward Brittany Pfaff has a team-high two goals on the season while rookie Kelly Ristoff and senior Lisa Valenziano has also provided offense for the team with a goal and an assist each. 

Goalkeeper Taylor Booth has been solid in goal for Siena, recently named as the ECAC and MAAC Defensive Player of the Week after posting a 2-1 record the previous week with 15 stops.  In nine games played, the sophomore has totaled a 1.00 goals-against average and a .827 save percentage.   

All Tied Up
The all-time series between the Purple Eagles and the Saints is tied at 10-10-3.  The last time these two teams met on the field, NU came from behind to draw with the Saints, 1-1 on Oct. 23, 2011.  Down 1-0 in the second 45 minutes of play, junior Kayla Picanco tied the game for the Purple Eagles off a feed from senior Julianne Viviano.

Taking a Look at Marist
The Purple Eagles welcome Marist to Niagara Field with a 6-5 record.  The Red Foxes lost a close 1-0 overtime decision to Temple last Sunday. 

The team is led by midfielder Rycke Guiney and defender Chelsea Botta who each have four goals and an assist for nine points to their name.  Marist has also received offensive contributions from junior Samantha Panzner and senior Jackie Frey. 

Sophomore goalkeeper Andrea Wicks has seen the majority of action for the Red Foxes, holding a 4-4-0 record for a 1.65 goals-against average and a .703 save percentage.   

Red Foxes vs. Purple Eagles
Niagara leads the all-time series against the Red Foxes 10-8-1, but it was Marist who came out the victor in the previous meeting between the two teams.  It was a battle between the top two squads in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), as Marist downed NU, 3-0 on Oct. 21, 2011. 

Last Time Out
The Purple Eagles wrapped up the non-conference schedule with two hard-fought contests starting with St. Bonaventure and ending with Cornell. 

Against the Bonnies, the Purple Eagle were en route to a dramatic comeback after netting a pair of goals less than two minutes apart in the later stages of the contest to pull within one of the Bonnies.  Senior midfielder Michaela DiFazio started the offensive push with a breakaway tally seven seconds after St. Bonaventure pulled ahead, 4-1.  Kennedy followed with a 41st minute tally, but NU’s efforts came up slightly short.  Picanco netted the team’s initial score. 

The squad snatched a 2-1 victory from the Big Red after Raepple netted the game-winning tally with 4.3 seconds remaining in the contest.  Meyer, who set up the second goal for the Purple Eagles, also scored the team’s first goal of the game.   

Rookie Helping Out the Purple Eagles 
Siegrist-Gabas has found success on the field so far in her rookie season.  The freshman leads the MAAC and is tops amongst the Purple Eagles with four assists.  Her 0.50 assists per game also leads the conference, while she is fifth in the MAAC with 0.75 points per game. 

Conference Honors
Meyer and Feiertag were honored by the MAAC this week as Meyer was named MAAC Offensive Player of the Week and Feiertag was tabbed MAAC Rookie of the Week.

Meyer had a three-point weekend for Niagara, netting a goal and adding a helper in the 2-1 victory over Cornell on Sunday.  After scoring the first goal of the game for the Purple Eagles, the Bedford, Texas native set up the game-winning tally with four seconds remaining in the contest.  Meyer finished the weekend with five shots, four of them on goal.  She currently leads the Purple Eagles in points (6) and assists (4).     

Feiertag finished the weekend with 10 saves, making a season-high eight stops against Cornell on Sunday.  She holds a .815 save percentage, and an 1.14 goals-against average with three shutouts to her name.

Overtime Success
The Purple Eagles have had two contests this year head into extra time, both ending in Niagara victories.  The first win came over Buffalo, securing a 1-0 double overtime tally from Raepple, while the second victory came against Youngstown State with a goal from rookie Rachel Garvey.  

NU has outshot its opponents 7-2 in overtime play.

Ripping Game-Winnings Goals
Raepple’s two goals on the season have both been game-winning tallies.  Her first was an overtime score against the Buffalo Bulls in the 108th minute of play and her most recent goal against Cornell came in the final seconds of play to propel the team to a 2-1 triumph.

Seeing Zeros
Three of Niagara’s five wins have been shutout victories, starting with the 1-0 double overtime win over Buffalo, following by a pair of 2-0 victories over Saint Francis (Pa.) and Robert Morris. 

Looking Forward 
After Sunday’s game against Marist, the Purple Eagles continue conference play on the road, traveling to Fairfield on Friday, Oct. 5 to battle the Stags at 7p.m.  Niagara then tangles with the Iona Gaels on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.


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