The number three ranked women’s soccer team went 1-0-1 for the week, when it traveled to Rockville Center, N.Y., to roll past Molloy College 4-0 on Wednesday, October 17. At Homecoming on Saturday, October 20, the team tied Queens College to extend the Pioneers’ streak to 10 games without losing.
The Pioneers wasted no time in the East Coast Conference match up against Molloy College as it scored all of the goals within the first 30 minutes of the game. Junior forward Alexa Niciforo started off the scoring for the Pioneers, as she took a pass from senior captain Prudence Rydstrom to get the Pioneers on the board just three minutes into the contest. Only two minutes later, Niciforo fed freshman midfielder Hanna Westerling in the box, and the Swedish striker headed the ball into the top left corner, to double the lead for the Pioneers.
After 19 minutes, the team’s top-scorer, freshman forward Susanne Vistnes, took over the show. She started by blasting the ball in the top right corner from 25 yards for a goal that will be in the contest for Goal of the Year at the end of the season. After the game, freshman defender Jackie Niciforo said, “It was one of the greatest goals I’ve ever seen.” Vistnes herself was delighted to see the ball go in. “I just had a go at it from far out, and I am so happy that the ball went in where it did,” Vistnes said. “It was one of my best goals ever.”
Molloy’s goalkeeper was probably still dizzy after Vistnes’ first goal when the Norwegian striker got the chance again, eight minutes later. She took down a long ball from the back line, dribbled past both a defender and the goalkeeper to seal the game at 4-0 for the Pioneers, with her second goal of the day.
The Pioneers returned to conference action at Homecoming as it hosted Queens College. The Pioneers honored seniors before the game and hoped to give them a good experience in their last conference home game as Pioneers. Still, Queens College started the game stronger, creating several scoring opportunities before capitalizing at 11:36. The Pioneers answered fairly quickly as Westerling found the back of the net from two yards out, after Vistnes dribbled down the left side and crossed the ball to find Westerling for the tap-in.
Neither team managed to find the back of the net again. The game ended at 1-1 after double overtime. Senior goalkeeper Nicole Fierro has had an outstanding season in the net so far, earning ECC Defensive Player of the Week honors four times.
After Saturday’s game, there is a good chance for her to earn it for yet another week, as she registered a career high 12 saves in the game against Queens, and played an important role in keeping the Pioneers in the game with the Knights outshooting the Pioneers with 18-11.
The Pioneers have an overall record of 13-1-2 and 7-0-1 in conference play. The Pioneers return to action on Wednesday, October 24, as the team welcomes Southern New Hampshire University to campus for a non-conference matchup at 3 p.m. The Pioneers then close the regular season by traveling to Philadelphia to take on Philadelphia University on October 27.