The Stetson women's soccer team (2-5-0), although missing a number of key contributors, put forth a valiant effort in a 2-1 loss to UAB (1-6-0) on Friday afternoon. Freshman Franziska Wendel scored the first goal of her career, while junior Victoria Troccoli recorded eight saves in the defeat.
The Blazers got on the board first, as Megan Collins found Johanna Liney for a goal on a give-and-go down the left side of the box in the 25th minute of play. The Hatters could have been down by two scores at that point, given that UAB was awarded a penalty kick just 17 minutes into the opening half.
Fortunately for Stetson, Troccoli made an unbelievable play on a well struck penalty by the Blazers, keeping UAB off the board for at least the next eight minutes.
The Hatters quickly evened things up as Wenedel made a run into the box and forced a UAB Blazer to take her down. The freshman got up and walked directly to the penalty spot, for her first collegiate attempt. Wendel struck the ball right past the keeper's outstretched arm, tying the game at 1-1 in the 30th minute.
The two teams went into the break tied 1-1, with the Blazers holding an 11-6 advantage in shots. The Hatters, on the other hand, recorded three corners to UAB's zero in the opening frame.
While both teams had their opportunities to start the second half, it was UAB that took advantage, scoring just over 10 minutes into the frame. Johanna Liney, after scoring the first half goal, assisted on this one, finding Ashley Naumoff for the score on a long ball through the back line.
The goal that made it 2-1 in the 56th minute proved to be the difference in the match, as Stetson failed to even the score. The Blazers finished with a 20-12 shot advantage, while both teams tallied four corners in the contest. Troccoli totaled eight saves, while UAB's Courtnie Northern recorded seven.
"For me it was a bit of an ugly game in the first half," Head Coach Julie Orlowski said. "It picked up a bit in intensity in the second half. [Given our challenges due to injury and illness] I was very impressed with how we did today."
Stetson will next play on the road at Furman on Sunday, September 16 at 1:00 p.m.Coach Orlowski Interview