The Canisius College women's soccer team opened its spring schedule at Akron University on Saturday, March 24. The Golden Griffins swept the day with a 2-1 win over Ohio Dominican followed by a 1-0 victory over the host Zips.
In the opening contest, the Golden Griffins jumped out to a 1-0 lead over the 2011 GLIAC South Division Champion Ohio Dominican. Freshman Mallory Illsley put the Griffs on the scoreboard off a long ball from sophomore Kelly McMahon. The Panthers responded quickly with an equalizer to tie the contest at 1-1.
With the contest knotted at one a piece, Mallory would strike again. The freshman tallied her second goal of the game and eventual gamewinner on a square pass at the seven-yard line from sophomore Brianna Smith.
In the second game of the afternoon, the Griffs and host Zips battled to a scoreless first half.
The Griffs broke the scoreless contest in the second half off a free kick. Lined up forty yards out, freshman Jenny Piaggione served the ball from the leftside into the middle of the field to connect with Smith. The sophomore would head the ball in for a Griffs' 1-0 lead and eventual game-winning tally.
The two teams continued to battle with a few chance going towards each side. The Griffs relied on a pair of great saves by sophomore goalkeeper Deanna Bowers to clench the 1-0 victory.
"We didn't possess the ball in the central-midfield area as much as I hoped, but we did create some very good scoring chances in both games and our defense of Maria Nelms, Jenny Piaggione, Adrianna Suk, and Emily Paquette played very well only giving up a goal in two games," said head coach Jim Wendling.
"It was also very nice getting two goals from Mallory and a goal and an assist from Bri. Those players will be counted on to provide scoring for us in the fall, so it was great to see them finish a couple very good opportunities," further explained Wendling.
Wendling was satisfied with the effort between the pipes for the Griffs, as the tandem of junior Megan Tock and Bowers split time.
The Golden Griffins will continue their spring schedule on Sunday, March 31st at the University at Buffalo for a seven-on-seven tournament between the host Bulls, RIT, and Big Four rival St. Bonaventure.