Miller's Markers Spark Shutout Over UNCW in Make Up Game And Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
October 27, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. – Another game, another two goals from junior forward Ali Miller.
Miller (at right) had her third multi-goal game this season to help lead the University of Delaware women’s soccer team to a 4-0 win over Colonial Athletic Association foe UNCW Friday after noon at Virginia Commonwealth's Sports Backer Stadium.
The game was switched to a neutral midway site for the teams after the original game, scheduled back on Sept. 23 at Delaware, was postponed due to heavy rains and flooding.
"Today was all about finishing,” said Delaware head coach Scott Grzenda, who tallied his 203rd win at the helm of the program. “UNCW was hard and determined, but in the end our girls put the ball in the net when we had the opportunities.”
The win kept CAA playoff hopes alive for the Blue Hens (9-6-3, 5-3-2 CAA), who will close out the season at home this Sunday, Oct. 30, vs. longtime rival Drexel at 1 p.m. at Delaware Mini-Stadium.
Delaware, looking to advance to the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2005, will clinch at least third place with a win over Drexel and could still make the playoffs with a tie or loss depending on the outcomes of games involving VCU, Northeastern, James Madison, George Mason, and Hofstra on Saturday and Sunday. The six-team event will be held Nov. 3-6 at regular season champion William & Mary.
Miller finished the day with two goals, her second-straight multi-goal game after putting away a pair on Sunday in a 4-2 victory at Towson. Seniors Amy Pickard and Stacie Dulkis each chipped in a goal while sophomore midfielder/back Dianna Marinaro posted a pair of helpers. Junior midfielder Tania Domingos registered an assist on Miller’s second goal.
The 4-0 blanking snapped a five-game losing streak against the Seahawks (3-15, 1-9 CAA), improving Delaware to 6-5-0 all-time against UNCW. Friday’s game was the second meeting between the two teams at a neutral site as the Hens are now 2-0-0 all-time vs. the Seahawks.
Miller put the Hens up early, tallying her 10th marker of the year in the 12th minute, converting a pass from Marinaro. Miller is the first Delaware player to put away double-digit goals in one season since Brittany Campbell finished the 2000 campaign with 10.
Delaware took a 1-0 advantage into the halftime break, but gained a 2-0 advantage early in the second half as Miller pushed her second goal past UNCW keeper Caitlin Hunter in the 58th minute.
Pickard further extended the lead to 3-0 in the just five minutes later as she too tallied her 10th goal of the year. Pickard and Miller, Delaware’s leading scorers, are the first UD pair to register 10 goals apiece since Beth Gregory and Beth Hatt finished the 1995 season with 13 and 11 goals, respectively.
Dulkis assured Delaware the victory with a goal in the 84th minute, giving the Hens their 34th goal of the year, the most the team has tallied since 2001 when Delaware found the back of the net on 39 occasions.
With Dulkis’ goal, which was her first since Oct. 9 against William & Mary, the Hens tallied their third four-goal game of the year and second in a row after the victory at Towson on Sunday.
In goal, senior Breanna Stemler had a relatively light day, making three saves to lock up her fourth shutout of the season.
The Hens’ offense came out firing early and often, taking the first attempt of the day just 22 seconds in and finished with 18 on the day. Despite the shutout, UNCW attempted 14 shots but managed to put just three on goal, all of which Stemler turned aside.
Miller led the day in shooting, putting three of her seven attempts on goal, scoring twice. Pickard tallied three attempts while Dominigos tried twice.
Delaware was stymied in the first half, scoring just once as Hunter and her UNCW teammates combined for three saves in the stanzas. But the Hens figured out the defense in the second half as Hunter made just one save during the final 45 minutes as Delaware scored three times.
Sunday’s season finale for Delaware will serve as Senior Day for Dulkis, Pickard, Stemler, and Leigh Victory, who will each be honored prior to the game.
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