Giardina tallied her seventh goal of her career
Giardina scored her seventh goal her career, second of the season
BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (November 9, 2018) – The seventh-seeded Stonehill College women's soccer team fell to the second-seeded University of Bridgeport at Knights Field in the first round of the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Tournament with a 2-1 loss Friday afternoon.
Stonehill's (13-7-0) sophomore Alex Giardina recorded her second goal of the season after she put back her own rebound, to tie the game at one apiece and junior goalkeeper Kaitlin Brown registered four saves.
Bridgeport saw possession for most of the first five minutes of the game, as Stonehill found their bearings. Stonehill was able to put two shots on goal and two that were sent wide in the first 10 minutes of the game, while the Purple Knights tallied the first corner kick of the game at 10:20, but the strike went into the left side of the net out of bounds. In the 22nd minute of the game, Bridgeport saw their second shot of the game as Nara DaCosta drilled a shot inside the six-yard box that Brown was able to handle as she dove, protecting the net. The Skyhawks followed up with a shot from freshman Camryn Thompson that was launched from 20 yards out as the ball struck the post in the 23rd minute of the game.
In the 36th minute, Bridgeport took the ball to their attacking third and with an initial shot from the Purple Knights' Anisha Hill that was fronted by Brown on a huge stop by the junior goalkeeper but Hill reacted and put the ball past Brown for her eighth goal of the season, 1-0, at 35:57. At the end of the half, Bridgeport outshot Stonehill 8-6, as the Skyhawks totaled six fouls and was called offside seven times, while the Purple Knights totaled five fouls.
Thompson combined for three shots with two shots on goal
Early in the second half, Kayla Henry's corner kick at 48:48 found Madalyn Fernbach outside the six-yard box that sailed high over the cross bar in the 50th minute of the game for the first shot of the second half. Stonehill seemed to control most of the first 10 minutes in the second frame. In the 55th minute and in a two-on-two situation Thompson and Henry took on two Bridgeport defenders as Thompson saw her second shot on goal in the game as she fought her way to the net. Stonehill was called for a foul in the 60th minute, and Bridgeport lifted a free kick into the box just outside the 18-yard box. The cross was a low ball that was cleared by the Skyhawk defenders but Bridgeport's Maegen Doyle took the ball back and put it back into the box that hit the underside of the crossbar in the 60th minute. Brown collected the after effects of the bouncing shot before the Purple Knights had a chance to respond to the initial strike.
In the 73rd minute, Bridgeport lifted a ball high over the bar and Stonehill saw three-straight shots, including two on goal from Fernbach and Giardina. Giardina's initial shot was at the Bridgeport's goalkeeper which bounced off her and Giardina followed her shot putting it in the back of the net scoring the equalizer, 1-1 at 74:13. Seven minutes later, Stonehill was called for their 11th foul inside the 18-yard box and Doyle took the penalty kick as she slid it past the diving Brown for a 2-1 advantage in the 82nd minute. Stonehill fought until the very end, outshooting Bridgeport, 14-12, overall but the Purple Knights totaled 10 corner kicks to the Skyhawks three.
The Purple Knights will now take on the sixth-seeded College of Saint Rose, as the Golden Knights defeated the third-seeded Mercy College in a 4-3 penalty shootout at the end of a 1-1 double overtime battle.
After their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history, Stonehill wrapped up the season with a 13-7-0 overall record and a 10-4 Northeast-10 Conference mark, the Skyhawks' best mark since 2016 when they made their first appearance in program history in the Tournament.
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