Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville women's soccer team claimed their first Spartan Classic Championship on Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Alfred University Saxons by the final score of 1-0 to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Neither team could find much footing on offense in the first 20 minutes as only two shots were recorded. Alfred would then begin to gain some momentum as they had three shots on goal in the next 15 minutes, but goalkeeper Laurie Poeller (Akron, NY/Akron) was up to the task each time as she made all three saves.
Only one additional shot would come in the first half from the Saxons, but it would go wide as the teams went into halftime tied 0-0.
Both offenses would come to life to begin the first half, but D'Youville was the offense that struck first. Freshman Jordan Pachla (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) chased a ball down in the left corner of the field, beat her defender and lofted a high shot over the keeper's head to find the back of the net and give the Spartans the 1-0 lead.
Following a foul on a breakaway, Alfred went down to 10 players with a red card. However, the Saxons stepped up the intensity to combat being down on the field and the scoreboard. Alfred would go on to record six shots on goal in the 20 minutes following the red card, but the D'Youville defense and Poeller would be up to the task.
Despite the late scramble to find an equalizer, the Saxons were unable to find their way through the stout Spartan defense as D'Youville would win the game 1-0 and claim the Spartan Classic Championship.
Poeller recorded her second shutout in as many career starts as she made 12 saves and was named the MVP of the Spartan Classic. Her back line of Dominique Riforgiato (Fredonia, NY/Fredonia), Isabella Lucania (Webster, NY/Webster-Schroeder), Anna Hayes (Hamburg, NY/Mt. St. Mary Academy), Cassandra Brooks (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island), and Sarah Milczarski (Newfane, NY/Newfane) did an excellent job of clearing danger away from the front of the D'Youville net.
On offense, Pachla scored on her only attempt with Aussie Mariacher (Elma, NY/Iroquois) and Maggie Leeds (Akron, NY/Lockport), Brooks, and Katelyn Eigenbrod (Arcade, NY/Pioneer) each had a shot in the game.
In addition to Poeller's MVP honors for a pair of shutouts with Kaylee Heschke (Newfane, NY/Newfane), Brooks, and Mariacher all being named to the Spartan Classic All-Tournament Team. Heschke was a dominant player in the midfield while Brooks and Mariacher each tallied two goals in the 7-0 win on Friday over Bethany.
D'Youville will resume play next weekend for their second tournament of the season in the Blue Devil Classic at Fredonia. They will play the host Fredonia Blue Devils first on Friday at 3:30pm and then play Oswego at 12:30pm on Saturday.