EAST BOSTON – The Suffolk women's soccer team took a 2-1 half-time lead, but it would not be enough as Rivier defeated the Rams, 4-2, Saturday afternoon at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park.
Prior to kick-off, Suffolk (3-14, 2-7 GNAC) honored the playing careers of its two seniors, Caley McCaslin and Alicia Villett. The co-captains have been instrumental to the Rams' growth over the past four seasons, culminating in three straight appearances in GNAC post-season competition.
Suffolk took control right off the first whistle. Playing the majority of the first five minutes in Rivier (4-8-1, 2-7 GNAC) terrority, Jennifer Martin headed to the right corner for the first corner of the afternoon. Lauren Markin's forward connected off Martin's kick that flew to the pack of blue-and-gold inside the box, but the ball was tipped to high and hit the crossbar.
Continuing to show vigor on offense, Martin and the Rams pushed forward determined to get on the scoreboard and at the 19th minute, they did just that. Off a middle pass from Alexandra Nagri, Martin ended Suffolk's 311 minutes of scoreless action with her sixth of the season. Nagri's assist helped put the Rams on the scoreboard and take an early 1-0 lead.
The edge was short lived, however, as Rivier answered five minutes later. On the left side, Nicole Godschall fired a rocket from 20-yards up and into the right corner just over Kirsten Weiker's gloves to even the score at 1-1.
Godschall's second goal of the season lit a fire under the Rams as the remaining minutes were controlled by the host's. As minutes continued to tick off the click Suffolk put on more and more pressure and struck against with just under two minutes before the break. Paola Vangeli sent a middle, go-ahead pass to Jessica Harmon, who dribbled around a Raiders' defender. Now, on a one-on-one with Lauren Goodspeed, the sophomore midfielder pulled the keeper out of the cage and took advantage as she slid the ball into the back of the onion bag. Harmon's fourth goal of the year put the Rams out in front, 2-1,
Suffolk held the first-half advantage in shots, 12-2, including shots on target, 6-2. The Rams also took more corners than the Raiders, 6-3.
The Rams' momentum carried over to the first 10 minutes of the second stanza. The ball was controlled by Suffolk's offense for all, but one possession only crossing the midfield line once. The Rams' defense kept it away from scoring terrority though to keep its one-goal lead intact.
The lead did not hold for the remainder, however, as Godschell tallied her second score of the day to put 2-all on the board at the 58th minute. A cluster of players gathered in the box with Maggie Cohoon dribbling on the right side. With the defenders attention on Cohoon, she crossed the ball to the front where Godschell was posted to put her third goal of the year away easily.
After Godschell's second goal, momentum swung in favor of the Raiders and at the 72 minute the visitors went ahead, 3-2. On a free kick at the 15-yard line on the ride side, Hayley Barnard let one rip throw the air. The senior back's attempt flew perfectly and fell just beyond Weiker's grasp.
Cohon and Godschell teamed up for the second time on the afternoon at the 85th minute to tact on insurance. This time Godschell pulled Weiker far right and found Cohoon front and center. Cohoon tapped the ball into the back of the netting for a team-best fifth time this season and to put the Raiders ahead, 4-2.
Suffolk takes to the road for its final two regular-season contests of the year. First the Rams will visit Albertus Magnus Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., before making the trip to Mount Ida Saturday, Oct. 24 for a 12 p.m. tilt. Rivier takes tomorrow off and returns to its own pitch Monday night versus Anna Maria.