For NEC Women's Soccer Tournament Headquarters
Loretto, PA --
With a hard-fought, 2-1, win over Quinnipiac on Sunday afternoon, the Saint Francis U women's soccer team carved out a new place in the Northeast Conference record books. The victory at the soggy Stoke Soccerplex made the Red Flash the first team in league history to post a 10-0-0 mark in the NEC.
“This is a cool thing,” said SFU head coach Brenda van Stralen, who watched her team run its unbeaten streak to a school-record 12 matches. “Today is about celebrating our seniors and a great season but tomorrow its over.”
“We still have goals for our team and plenty of things to improve on. We have to keep working.”
Momentum looked to be in Saint Francis' corner early on, as the Flash jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead less than 16 minutes into the match.
In the 11th minute, junior Tesa McKibben (Cogan Station, Pa./Montoursville) served up a ball on a free kick from the left side to a waiting Natalie Isett (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) at the top of the box. Isett collected the pass and promptly deposited it in the back of the net for her first Division I goal.
Isett returned the favor five minutes later by assisting on McKibben's league-leading 17th goal of the season. McKibben's ball caromed off of the right the post and behind Quinnipiac goalkeeper Jillian Kelley.
McKibben's goal stood as the game-winner – the 16th of her career.
Amanda Barroca pulled the Bobcats to within one in the 40th minute after converting a long cross from Shauna Edwards. Despite a barrage of second-half opportunities, the Bobcats (9-6-2; 5-4-1) could not find the equalizer.
Saint Francis (13-4-2) held a 13-to-10 edge in shots and an 8-to-1 in corner kicks.
SFU goalkeeper Brianna Butcher (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow) made five saves – several of which we of the highlight reel variety – to post a second-half shutout. Kelley made four stops in the losing effort.
Saint Francis will host the 2012 Northeast Conference Women's Soccer Tournament, beginning on Friday. Game times and draws will be announced on Monday.