Pickard Tallies Two Goals as Hens Knock Off 2010 MAAC Champion Siena 4-1
Sept. 9, 2011
Game Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. – Returning to its home field for the first time since Aug. 21, the University of Delaware women’s soccer team got the result it was looking for, knocking off defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Siena College 4-1 on Friday.
It was Hens’ first win of the year at Delaware Mini-Stadium after suffering a 2-0 set back in the season opener against La Salle University. The victory was the 196th of head coach Scott Grzenda’s career at Delaware, closing the gap on the 200-win benchmark.
“It’s great when you’re rewarded for creative play,” said Grzenda on his program’s first win over the Saints. “The girls executed what we want to see and finished very well.”
Pickard (at right) posted her second career two-goal game, and first since Sept. 8, 2008 against Winthrop.
Pickard got the scoring going in the first half, taking a throw in from fellow senior Leigh Victory. Pickard rolled around her defender and finished in the top right corner of the goal, just past Saint’s netminder Laura Ettinger, who tallied five saves on the night.
But the Saints, fresh off the 2010 MAAC Championship, got the tying goal from Katie Zambrano in the 43rd minute. After a scramble in the Delaware penalty box, Kaitlyn Sharo connected a pass to Taylor D’Alfonso, who then found Zambrano for the goal.
The tying goal, which sent the game into a 1-1 halftime, marked the first time this season that someone other than Ashleigh Barone scored for the Saints (2-1-0). Barone had two goals prior to tonight’s game, each game-winners against Siena’s first two opponents.
Sophomore Chelsea Duffy gave Delaware the go-ahead goal just 10 minutes into the second half, putting away a pass from senior back Laura Klebe, who tallied her first points since her freshman year in 2008.
“I was proud of the way we came out at the onset of both halves,” said Grzenda, whose team tallied the opening goals in each period. “We talked about being mentally prepared and tonight we were.”
The Hens’ win halted a 24-game unbeaten streak for Siena in the month of September, a mark that was halted at 22-0-2, dating back to Sept. 30, 2007. It also helped Delaware (2-3-1) improve to 11-5-0 all-time against schools from the MAAC while snapping Siena’s 17-consecutive victories in non-conference road games.
With 20 minutes to go in the tilt, Pickard netted her second of the night as a pair of backs picked up the assist. Sophomore Brittany Bonzano (at left) played a ball to Dianna Marinaro in the right corner of field, allowing Marinaro to sail a ball into Pickard who finished the shot with a toe poke.
Coming off a an All-Rookie campaign in 2010, sophomore Shannon Kearney gave Delaware ‘s fourth goal, subbing in late in the game as a forward while Pickard bumped to the back line. Junior Mel Pennington kicked a pass over to Kearney who fired a shot from the top of the box and buried it in the top left corner.
Delaware controlled the offensive pace most of the game, particularly in the opening minutes of each half. The Hens outshot the Saints 20-5, including 10 shots on goal. Four Hens took three shots during the game, led by Pickard who put all of her attempts on cage, scoring twice.
Backing the Hens, goalkeeper Breanna Stemler was challenged three times, turning away two shots. Delaware’s stingy defense allowed just five shots in the game.
The Hens are idle until next Friday, Sept. 16 when they host in-state rival Delaware State in the third edition of the Route 1 Rivalry. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Delaware Mini-Stadium. The Blue Hens will look to improve to 3-0-0 all-time against the Hornets of Delaware State. The Hens hold a 14-0 scoring advantage in the series.