Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville women's soccer team kicked off their conference schedule with a win on Saturday afternoon, defeating the La Roche Redhawks by the final score of 2-1.
The first two shots of the game came from the feet of Makenna Magee (Ellenburg Center, NY/Northern Adirondack) and Brittany Cristofanelli (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield), with both shots being on goal. D'Youville had an early presence in the Redhawk end in the first seven minutes of play before La Roche began to swing the momentum in their favor.
La Roche had four consecutive shots and a corner after the Spartan's hot start, building up to their first goal. In the 22nd minute, the Redhawks took the lead after they were able score on a short shot inside the box. Continuing their pressure on the D'Youville defense, La Roche recorded four shots throughout the remainder of the first half. The Spartan's defense held firm and heading into halftime the women trailed 1-0.
As the second half began, the Redhawks recorded the first six shots of the half, all within the first six minutes of play. After earning a free kick on their own side of midfield, the Spartans quickly swung momentum in their favor to even the score at one.
Kiernan Johnson (Cherry Valley, IL/Keith School) sent a free kick down the left side of the field found Makenna Magee in stride, heading into the La Roche box. Magee found herself one-on-one with the Redhawk keeper and beat her for her third goal of the season, tying the game at one in the 59th minute.
Just three minutes later, D'Youville then took the lead off an own goal from La Roche, their first lead of the game. After that, the Spartans began to pick up their game even more as they four of the next six shots in the game and held the Redhawks out of their net. The lockdown defense of the Spartans held firm throughout the remaining duration of the game, keeping La Roche off the board as D'Youville defeated the Redhawks 2-1.
Goalkeeper Megan Dulniak (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga), along with the starting back line of Amber Lundrigan (Rome, NY/Rome Free Academy), Dominique Riforgiato (Fredonia, NY/Fredonia), Jenna Tomizzi (Buffalo, NY/Sacred Heart Academy), and Johnson, all had big performances in the game. Dulniak made 10 saves while Tomizzi and Riforgiato were able to clear several dangerous attacks. Both Johnson and Lundrigan helped move the ball forward to the midfield and keep danger away from the D'Youville goal.
Midfielder Kaylee Heschke (Newfane, NY/Newfane) played a big role in the midfield, helping out on defense but also creating on offense. Magee and Heschke each had three shots and two shots on goal to lead the team. Cristofanelli had two shots, both on goal. Both Magan Magee (Ellenburg Center, NY/Northern Adirondack) and Marina Campbell (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Catholic) also played well in the midfield.
The next game for the women comes on Tuesday, September 26 as they travel to Penn State-Behrend. Game time is set for 7:30pm.