Kroll’s 12 Saves Not Enough as Women’s Soccer Falls to No. 7 LIU Post, 2-1, in Hard Fought Non-Conference Action
WSoc: #7 LIU Post 2 - Wilmington 1
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - Brookeville, N.Y.
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Jordanne Hoeslie-Atkins scored to tie the game at 1-1 in the 65th minute
Ashley Kroll stepped in as the goalkeeper against LIU Post and recorded 12 stops in her first game as a keeper
Making the first start of her career in goal, sophomore Ashley Kroll made 12 stops but it wasn’t enough as nationally No. 7 ranked LIU Post came away with a 2-1 victory over the Wilmington University women’s soccer team on Thursday afternoon at Robert Blitz Field.
The Wildcats (6-6-2) tied the match at 1-1 in the 65th minute, but the Pioneers (11-1-1) responded with a goal less than three minutes later to take the lead for good. LIU Post put up 23 shots, keeping the pressure on first-time goalkeeper Kroll, but needed a goal with 23:05 remaining to seal the deal.
“This was a strong effort by our team today,” head coach Josh Ruggiero said. “Facing the seventh ranked team in the country and even though we came up short, I hope we can use this as a momentum building as we move into a stretch of games that will really make a difference this year.”
Wilmington came out firing in the first 15 minutes of the match, putting up the first two shots of the match, and earning its only corner kick of the first half. Victoria Vasapolli sailed a shot high at the five minute mark while Brittany Rhodes forced Pioneer goalkeeper Nicole Fierro to make a save at the eight minute mark.
But, LIU Post withstood the early pressure from the Wildcats and responded with four shots and a corner of their own before putting the first goal of the game on the board. Off their second corner of the match, the Pioneers received a header from Rebecca Swedberg from Lauren Bellone to the middle of the net for the 1-0 lead as the clock reached the 19 minute mark.
The Pioneers kept the momentum from the early goal for the rest of the first stanza, putting up eight more shots while blanking Wilmington on shots for the remaining of the period. All told, LIU Post recorded 13 shots in the first half, but Kroll was there to make six saves to keep the Wildcats in the match.
LIU Post came out strong to begin the second half as well, recording three shots and two corners before the Wildcats got in the stat sheet with a shot by Jenna Quaranta 12:24 into the second frame. Seven minutes later, after back-to-back fouls by the Pioneers, the Wildcats tied the match at 1-1.
Following a free kick from Vikki Zipf, mayhem ensued inside the penalty area as the ball bounced around with either team able to get a clean shot at it. The ball bounced loose out to the top of the 18-yard box and found the foot of the Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins. The junior midfielder was able to beat the Pioneer defense and Fierro, knotting the match at 1-1 with 25:52 remaining on the scoreboard.
But the Wildcats couldn’t keep the momentum following the goal, as the Pioneers came back and scored the eventual game-winner less than three minutes later. LIU Post’s Jeanine Ambrogi tallied on a quick pass and shot from Alexa Niciforo from the top of the box to the left post.
The Wildcats had a few chances at the end of the match, as a header from Penelope Fantis went high in the 80th minute and the team earned another corner kick with the clock winding down under 10 seconds, but could not get a shot off before the horn sounded.
The 12 saves from Kroll in her first collegiate match were the 12th most saves by a keeper in program history, dating back to when Wilmington joined the NCAA ranks in 2004.
The stretch Ruggiero was referring to begins on Saturday, as the Wildcats head to Felician for the second of their four match road swing. They also head to Chestnut Hill and Caldwell before returning home to finish the regular season against Georgian Court on October 23.