COLCHESTER, Vt. - A second-half charge came up short on Thursday as the Saint Michael's College women's soccer team fell to regionally-ranked Assumption College, 2-1, at Duffy Field during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights, who took on their second of three straight regionally-ranked foes during a five-day stretch, are 3-5-1 overall and 2-5 in the NE10, while the Greyhounds improved to 7-1-1 and 5-1-1. Assumption is ranked fifth in this week's United Soccer Coaches East Region poll.
Senior Abby Pelon (South Lyon, Mich./Ladywood) scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season for Saint Michael's, while first-years Sam Faust (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) and Holly Spencer (Windham, Maine/Windham) registered assists for their first collegiate points. Junior Megan LeCours (Barre, Vt./Spaulding) collected three first-half saves while taking the loss, and first-year Liz Vallatini (Needham, Mass./Needham) made her college debut with four stops during a shutout second half.
The Purple Knights, who have suffered four one-goal setbacks, held junior Kallie Villemaire, the NCAA Division II leader in goals (13) as well as points (3.4) and goals (1.6) per game, to an assist. Sophomore Sydney Huckabee and first-year Johnna Caporuscio scored for Assumption, and sophomore Alexis Nason made three saves.
LeCours made a pair of stops in the opening 7:06 before denying junior Jessica FitzGerald's point-blank bid at the right post during a corner set at 8:26. Less than 30 seconds later, Assumption sent a ball bouncing through the box, and Villemaire caught up and fired two shots near the left post, with the first blocked and the second denied by a Purple Knight back for a team save, before Caporuscio converted the third opportunity for a goal at 9:11. Pelon sent a shot from 20 yards out just over the crossbar a little more than a minute later. In the 41st minute, the Greyhounds doubled their lead, as Huckabee one-touched a shot into the left side of the net from the outer fringes of the box.
In the second half, during which Saint Michael's was edged only 11-7 in shots and 4-3 on corner kicks, the hosts had a golden opportunity to halve their deficit in the 54th minute, but Faust slipped a shot across the box past the right post during a 2-on-1. Villemaire countered in the 60th minute, cutting from her left to her right while working a 1-on-2 to fire a hard shot on Vallatini. Faust ran onto Pelon's corner kick entry pass in the 65th minute but had the bid blocked out front before the hosts broke through in the 73rd minute. Faust sent a short pass into the box for Spencer, who led Pelon further toward goal before the striker slipped the ball into the left side at 72:46. Sophomore Madeleine Morse (Brownsville, Vt./Windsor) sent a tying bid with 30 seconds remaining toward the right post, where Nason made a diving stop to preserve the lead and clinch the victory.
Saint Michael's closes out its three-game home week by taking on regionally-ranked Pace University on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Setters are seventh in the latest East Region poll.