Blue Hens Fall to La Salle 2-0 in Weather-Shortened Season Opener
Aug. 21, 2011
Game Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. – The 2011 season got off to an odd start for the University of Delaware women's soccer team on Sunday.
After falling behind 2-0 to nearby foe La Salle University, the season-opening contest was cut short due to impending storms in the greater Newark area.
The game went into a lightning delay with 21 minutes to play as thunderstorms blew in from the Baltimore area, forcing the contest into a 30-minute delay. Weather would again impact the game with 9:24 left to play when lightning again came through the area, forced the game to a finish.
“I could not be happier with the support they give each other,” said Delaware head coach Scott Grzenda, who began his 22nd campaign with the program. “When we went inside during the delay, everything was positive. We actually fixed a few things that were going and it showed when we came back out.”
The contest was the first of the 2011-12 academic year for Delaware. The game was also the first to be played on a new surface at Delaware Mini-Stadium. During the summer, the Rye-Fuscue mix field was replaced with Bermuda grass.
Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference selection Reneee Washington scored both goals for La Salle, which improved to 1-0 on the young season. Both Washington tallies were assisted by Jess Hopton, who was also named A-10 Preseason All-Conference.
Ali Miller (at right) put all three of her shots on goal to pace Delaware’s (0-1) offense. La Salle goalkeeper Melissa Sanger was up to the task, turning aside all six Delaware shots on goal.
In goal for Delaware, Breanna Stemler made two saves in her 81 minutes of action. She faced a slew of shooters as La Salle had six different players record a shot.
The Hens’ best opportunity of the day came in the 53rd minute. Senior Amy Pickard took a shot from inside the penalty box on a pass from sophomore Chelsea Duffy. Pickard’s shot was headed for the left side of the goal before Sanger made a fingertip save on the attempt.
The Explorers held the advantage in corner kicks, taking seven, including six in the first half, while Delaware had three. Both squads managed five shots in the first half, but La Salle took three in second half as the Hens had just two.
Up next for Delaware is the James Madison University/Fairfield Inn by Marriott Invitational. The Hens will square off with Stony Brook on Friday at 5 p.m. After a rest day, Delaware will take on the Pittsburgh on Sunday at 11 a.m. All games will be played at the JMU Soccer Complex in Harrisonburg, Va.
“We’re very excited for the tournament,” said Grzenda of the upcoming games. “We get to play a Big East team in Pittsburgh, Stony Brook is in the America East. We’ll fix the little mistakes we made today and we’ll be ready to go next weekend.”
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