November 2, 2012
THIRD YEAR IN A ROW
LIU women win semifinals, reach NEC final again
LORETTO, Pa. – Senior Alana Wohlers scored off a cross from classmate Katie Egan in the fifth minute and junior Jessica Sexton backstopped a tremendous defensive effort as the Long Island University women advanced to their third consecutive Northeast Conference Tournament final with a 1-0 win over Monmouth on Friday afternoon.
The Blackbirds (9-7-3), who extended their winning streak to five games and unbeaten streak to nine, and will take on Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sunday at noon in a rematch of the NEC final from 2010 and 2011. The Red Flash recorded a 1-0 decision two seasons ago, while LIU won on penalty kicks last year.
LIU got on the board early, as Egan sent a ball into the box from the right side. The ball evaded the reach of three Monmouth defenders and found Wohlers on the back post, who flicked it home .
Neither team got much going offensively through the first 45 minutes. The Blackbirds held a 3-1 edge on shots while Monmouth had the only two corner kicks.
Ten minutes into the second half, LIU had a prime opportunity to double its lead. All-NEC rookie team selection Lucy Gunton-Jones took a corner kick from the left side as the ball eventually found senior Toni Smith along the right. Smith left-footed a pass in front of net to Wohlers, who headed the ball on frame but was denied on a diving stop by goalkeeper Jocelyn McCoy.
Monmouth had three corner kicks in the 64th minute but the LIU defense held the Hawks to one shot – a low-percentage distance opportunity that went wide for a goal kick.
A few minutes later, a free kick by the Hawks was put into the penalty area but Sexton leapt to grab it before falling to the turf to keep Monmouth off the board.
The Hawks kept the pressure up and in the 70th minute saw their best chance for the equalizer. Alexa Freguletti fired a shot from 25 yards that Sexton saved.
Led by Egan, Gunton-Jones and centerbacks Jeanette Dolmetsch and Angie Young, the Blackbirds held tough over the final 20 minutes.
Monmouth held an 8-5 edge in shots and an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks. Sexton closed with three saves to register her second solo shutout of the season. McCoy made three saves.