LORETTO, Pa. - Despite a nearly four-hour weather delay that saw a change in venue, Jess Soldiviero and Rosy Hayes scored to lift the Loyola University Maryland women's soccer team to its first win of the season, a 2-1 victory at Saint Francis (Pa.) Friday night.
The match started at the Stokes Soccerplex, but lightning halted play after almost six minutes were completed. Following the three hour and 54 minute delay, the game resumed under the lights at DeGol Field, where Soldiviero wasted no time getting the Greyhounds on the board.
"Tonight was our best performance of the year and we deserved the result," head coach Naomi Meiburger said. "It was a very good overall team performance from front to back, and I have to credit our team for sitting and waiting out the storm. To go through that adversity and come out with a win is a great takeaway moving forward."
When play resumed, the Greyhounds created two quick scoring opportunities from freshmen Kate Reese and Sarah Ensor, but neither prospect found the back of the net. It was not until the 18th minute when senior Riley Piechnick got the ball on the end line and passed it across the box to Soldiviero that the Greyhounds were able to capitalize. The junior forward made a run at the bench-side near post and slid the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the evening.
"Charlotte [Miller] and Rosy had their best games of the season and it lifted everyone on the front line," Meiburger said.
Loyola (1-4-0) took a 2-0 advantage in the 74th minute when Hayes scored a goal from more than 20-yards out. The senior blasted a shot from the central part of the field and made a line drive into the back of the net.
Saint Francis (0-4-1) quickly responded with a goal five minutes later when Allison LaDuke beat Colleen Folan and booted a shot just outside the box into the lower left corner of the goal.
The Red Flash continued to push offensively, but Loyola's defense was resilient. Saint Francis compiled three additional shot opportunities in the final 10 minutes of action, but was unable to find the back of the net due to Loyola's defensive pressure.
"Our two outside backs did a good job handling the pressure on the flank," Meiburger said. "The center backs really quieted the Saint Francis offense and did a good job absorbing the attack."
Folan recorded six saves, while the back line blocked two shots.
The Greyhounds held a slight advantage in both shots (16-15) and corners (4-3).
Loyola will return to action Friday, Sept. 11, to play in the Battle of Baltimore. UMBC will host Mount St. Mary's and Towson in a neutral site game at 5 p.m., before the Retrievers face the Greyhounds at 7:30 p.m., in Catonsville, Maryland. Two days later, the tournament travels to Mount St. Mary's, as Loyola takes on Towson at noon.