COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's soccer team suffered a 2-0 loss to regionally-ranked Pace University at Duffy Field during Northeast-10 Conference play Saturday afternoon. The Purple Knights, who faced their third straight regionally-ranked foe during a five-day stretch, are 3-6-1 overall and 2-6 in the NE10, while the Setters improved to 6-5-1 and 5-2-1. Pace is ranked seventh in this week's United Soccer Coaches East Region poll.
First-year Liz Vallatini (Needham, Mass./Needham) made her first collegiate start with two stops for Saint Michael's, which was only outshot 14-10. Seniors Ariel Almodovar and Drew Ribadeneyra each tallied their first goals of the season for Pace as junior Victoria Kealy pitched in an assist. Senior Hayley Pascoal had seven saves for the afternoon.
During the eighth minute, Ribadeneyra scored on a free kick from the perimeter of the goalie box as the ball sailed to the left corner. On a Saint Michael's free kick in the 22nd minute, sophomore Meghan Dieterle's (Franklin Mass./Franklin) shot was just shy of hitting the back of the net, but rather nailed the crossbar and went out of play. During the 35th minute, Vallatini picked up two crosses just before a Setter could get a foot on it in addition to punching away a free kick that was approaching the right corner in the 42nd minute.
In the 56th minute, Dieterle's free kick connected with sophomore Greta Ricigliano (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet), who one-touched it near the right post with Pascoal diving with a one-handed save, getting her body on the ball before a Saint Michael's player could capitalize. Pace padded its lead when Almodovar one-touched a pass from Kealy, sneaking it near the inside of the left post 4:30 later in the 60th minute. Junior Megan Robinson (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) beat her defender to be alone with Pascoal in the 76th minute, but sailed a shot that the keeper denied. Pascoal made two more 84th-minute saves to secure the shutout.
Saint Michael's hits the road against Saint Anselm College on Wednesday at 4 p.m.