Pennington's Pair Helps Push Delaware Women's Soccer Past Stony Brook 3-0 For First Win of the Year
Aug. 26, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Bouncing back from an odd ending to its first game of the 2011 season, the University of Delaware women's soccer picked up its first win of the year, defeating America East foe Stony Brook 3-0 on Friday evening.
“I’m really proud of the way the girls battled today,” said head coach Scott Grzenda, who is now in his 22nd year as Delaware’s only women’s soccer coach. “We created many great chances and played with a lot of passion.”
Grzenda is just five wins shy of the 200-victory plateau. When he reaches that benchmark, he will become the 41st head coach to collect 200 wins at the NCAA Division I level.
Friday’s game was the opener for the James Madison University/Fairfield Inn by Marriott Invitational, played at the JMU Soccer Complex. The Dukes, a Colonial Athletic Association rival of Delaware's, square off with Pittsburgh at 7:30 p.m. in the nightcap.
Delaware (1-1-0) will face the Panthers of Pittsburgh on Sunday morning at 11 a.m., also at the JMU Soccer Complex.
Friday’s game was not only Grzenda’s 195th of his career, but his fourth over the Seawolves. It was the first time Delaware and Stony Brook have met since 2004 when the Hens took a 2-1 at the Navy Tournament.
The Blue Hens improved to 4-2-0 all-time against Stony Brook, including a 3-0-0 record at neutral sites.
Prior to Friday’s game, the Hens had not won a neutral site game since defeating Sacred Heart 5-1 on Sept. 12, 2008 as part of the Yale Tournament.
Two quick goals from junior midfielders Melissa Pennington and Tania Domingos gave Delaware a lead they never relinquished, posting their first shutout of the year. Pennington bookended the evening with the third and final goal.
Sophomore Shannon Kearney, a CAA All-Rookie selection last season, handed out two assists, one on Pennington's first goal, the second on Domingos', while Leigh Victory had a second assist on Pennington's first and Taylor Thompson aided the third goal of the game.
Breanna Stemler logged all 90 minutes in Delaware's goal, turning aside six Stony Brook attempts to post her ninth career shutout.
The Hens peppered the Seawolves' goal, putting nine shots on the mark. Stony Brook goalkeeper Chelsea Morales made fives saves in her 90 minutes of play. Stony Brook’s defense was credited with a team save.
Pennington found the back of the net for the first time in the 29th minute as the Hens put together pinpoint passing. Victory fed the ball to Kearney who in turn made a pass to Pennington in the box for the finish.
Domingos put away an insurance goal just five minutes later, turning on a Kearney pass form 11 yards out, putting the Hens up 2-0 going into the halftime break.
Setting up the third goal, Thompson ripped a shot, but Morales was up to the task, making the initial save. But before anyone else had a chance at the ball, Pennington controlled the rebound and put away the final goal of the game.
The Blue Hens, backed by Stemler, held Stony Brook scoreless for the remaining 32 minutes.
Delaware controlled the offensive pace, taking 15 shots, while the Seawolves were close behind, taking 13. Both teams took six corner kicks, while Stony Brook was whistiled for eight fouls and the Hens for just five.
Victory and Ali Miller each tallied a team-high three shots. Pennington and Victory, who each took two, led attempts on cage.
The contest set several benchmarks for the Hens, including Pennington, who logged her first career multi-goal game and career-high points in a game with four. It was also the first time Kearney had two assists in a game, tying her total from all of last season.