NEWARK, Del. – Junior midfielder Diana Marinaro’s first collegiate goal was not enough as the University of Delaware women’s soccer team fell to the Saint Joseph’s University Hawks, 2-1, behind two second-half goals Friday night at Delaware Mini Stadium.
With the loss Delaware drops to 2-4 in non-conference action while Saint Joseph’s snaps a three-game losing skid and improves to 4-3-1.
“First and second half, I thought we played some of the best soccer we have played all year,” Delaware head coach Scott Grzenda said. “When the girls come out here and play so hard with that determination as well as passion, it all comes down to finishing and putting it in the net.”
The match remained scoreless until the 57:39 mark of the second half when SJU’s Shannon Westhead took a defensive rebound in the Blue Hens goal and kicked it into the back of the net on the right side of the goal as the Hawks took a 1-0 lead. Defending Atlantic 10 Conference Midfielder of the Year, Mo Hawkins was given an assist on the play.
Marinaro’s opportunity came at the 74:57 mark of the second half, when a foul on Saint Joseph’s resulted in a direct kick just outside of Hawks’ penalty box. After lining up the shot, Marinaro smashed a curving shot into the top left corner of Saint Joseph’s goal for her first collegiate and game-tying goal, 1-1.
“I think it was a great strike just out of the reach of the goalkeeper,” Grzenda said. “She makes those shots in practice so we were confident that she would be able to score.”
Hawkins would showcase her offensive skills once again, as SJU’s leading scorer slashed through the Blue Hens defense and kicked the ball into the top right corner of UD’s goal for the eventual game-winning goal at 82:38 of the second half.
Delaware outshot Saint Joseph’s, 28-10, as Junior Chelsea Duffy and senior Ali Miller led the Blue Hens with six shots apiece and three shots on goal. SJU was led by the trio of Hawkins, Olivia McEachren and Ali Yozwiak, as each registered two shots.
Saint Joseph’s senior goalkeeper Christine Neal registered a season-high 15 saves in the victory while UD sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Figueroa made five saves.
Delaware senior defender Polly Reinicker was handed a yellow card by officials at the 52:45 mark of the second half.
Delaware will complete the weekend with a trip to New York City on Sunday, September 16 to square off against the Long Island University-Brooklyn Blackbirds at 1 p.m at LIU-Brooklyn’s LIU Field.
The Blue Hens returns home and begin Colonial Athletic Association action on Friday, September 21 at 7 p.m. when the Delaware hosts the Towson University Tigers at 7 p.m. at Delaware Mini Stadium.