Owls Fall to Western New England, 2-1

It was a dark and foggy night at Alumni Field.
It was a dark and foggy night at Alumni Field.


WESTFIELD, Mass.  – It was a dark and foggy night at Alumni Field, and Western New England came away with a 2-1 win over Westfield State University's women's soccer team, buoyed by Christina Sordi's (Nonnewaug/Bethlehem, Conn.) game-winning goal.

Western New England improved to 7-6-1 on the season, while Westfield State drops to 6-4-1.

Westfield grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute, as Jenn Rennich (Bedford, Mass.) served a corner kick that skipped into the penalty area that Casey Rotti (Wachussett/Rutland, Mass.) settled near the top of the 6-yard box and fired a shot into the back of the net.

The Golden Bears equalized in the 26th minute, when Morgan Smith (Manchester, Conn.) took the ball in the deep right corner, then fed back to Autumn Hathaway (Colchester, Vt.) near the corner of the penalty area.  Hathaway fired a low shot inside the far post.

Sordi got the game winner in the 52nd minute, as Allison Bruehwiler (Old Saybrook, Conn.) centered the ball from the right side, with Sordi running on to score with a blast from near the penalty spot.

The game was played in on and off rain, with intermittent fog, occasionally heavy, settling over the field.

The Golden Bears finished with an 18-15 advantage in total shots and a 10-6 edge in shots on goal.   Westfield had several chances to tie the game in the second half, as Rotti had a pair of clean headers on goal, one blocked by a Western New England defender near the goal line, and a second that ricocheted off of an Owl teammate.

Westfield had a last gasp chance in the closing seconds, as Rennich fired a shot from a tough angle deep in the right corner that WNE goalkeeper Marissa Veilleux (Newington, Conn.) cleanly saved at the near post as time expired.

Veilleux stopped five shots, while Westfield State goalkeeper Brianna Hawley (Lee, Mass.) made eight saves.

Westfield State will be back in conference play on Saturday, as the Owls host Bridgewater State at Noon on Alumni Field.