Buffalo, NY - The #4 D'Youville women's soccer team took down the #5 Penn State-Altoona Lions on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the AMCC Playoffs by the final score of 2-1.
It took just 1:44 for D'Youville to take control of the game as a handball in the Lion's box led to a penalty kick. As she has done perfectly four previous times in her career, senior Marina Campbell (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Catholic) stepped to the dot and drilled home her sixth goal of the season for a quick 1-0 D'Youville lead.
Not much action occurred as the half went on with both teams battling for possession. In the 29th minute, Altoona would earn a free kick outside the Spartan's box. A ball in would find the head of their defender and then the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Only three shots would be recorded through the remainder of the half as the two teams went into halftime tied 1-1.
The second was very similar to the first with both teams looking to take control of the game. Altoona began to gather some scoring chances earlier in the second half, but the stifling D'Youville defense held firm.
As the half went on, the Spartans began to put together dangerous attacks that put pressure on the Lion's back line. In the 82nd minute, D'Youville would finally get their lead back thanks to their top-two goal producers.
Makenna Magee (Ellenburg Center, NY/Northern Adirondack) collected the ball at the top of the Altoona box and played it off to Jordan Pachla (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) who drilled the ball to the right post and it found a way home, giving the women a 2-1 lead. The D'Youville defense would stay strong in the final minutes of the game as the Spartans would go on to win by the final of 2-1.
Saturday's win was the 12th consecutive game in which the team has given up two goals or less and the 9th time in the last 11 games that the team has allowed one goal or less. Laurie Poeller (Akron, NY/Akron) came away with five big saves in the win while her defense of Dominique Riforgiato (Fredonia, NY/Fredonia), Isabella Lucania (Webster, NY/Webster-Schroeder), Cassie Brooks (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island), Anna Hayes (Hamburg, NY/Mt. St. Mary Academy), and Sarah Milczarski (Newfane, NY/Newfane) all playing lock-down defense. Kaylee Heschke (Newfane, NY/Newfane) played an outstanding game at defensive center mid as well.
On offense, Pachla led the team with two shots and scored the game-winner. Brittany Cristofanelli (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield), Campbell, Maggie Leeds (Lockport, NY/Akron), and Katelyn Eigenbrod (Arcade, NY/Pioneer) each had one shot in the game.
D'Youville advances to the AMCC Semifinals to play the #1 seeded Pitt.-Greensburg Bobcats this Wednesday, November 6 at Greensburg at 2:00pm.