FPU women’s soccer edged in NE10 semifinal
RINDGE — It was a high-flying Northeast-10 Conference Championship semifinal on Thursday night at Sodexo Field, as the No. 14 nationally-ranked and second-seeded Franklin Pierce University women’s soccer team and third-seeded Adelphi combined for 40 shots on the evening, including 25 shots on goal.
Despite the barrage of shots, scoring was at a premium, as both sides struck in the waning moments of the first half, but then the game went scoreless for the next hour. In the end, it was the NE10 Player and Rookie of the Year, Adelphi freshman Madison Apicella, who sent her team through to the final, as her 104th-minute goal boosted the Panthers to a 2-1 (2 OT) victory.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 14-3-2, but will still be headed to the NCAA Championship via an at-large bid when the field is announced on Monday at 7 p.m., as the Ravens are currently ranked first in the East Region.
Thursday night featured an intriguing matchup, as Apicella and her aforementioned offensive accolades squared off with the NE10 Defensive Player of the Year, in Franklin Pierce junior Aino Martikainen. Both were able to exert their influence on the game over the course of the night, as Apicella powered an Adelphi attack which put 13 shots on the Franklin Pierce net, easily the most the Ravens have allowed all year.
Meanwhile, Martikainen and her defensive unit helped the Ravens control large stretches of play, particularly in regulation, where the home team chalked up advantages of 23-11 in shot attempts, 12-8 in shots on goal and 8-4 in corner kicks.
Sophomore Emilie Fox (10-2-2) posted her first career double-digit save performance, as she turned aside 11 of 13 shots in a losing effort.