Women’s soccer cleans up Holy Cross, Vermont Tournament

By Jason Kornwitz

BROOKLINE – With a 4-0 shutout of Holy Cross last night at Parsons Field, the Huskies improved to 3-1 in their first four games, already halfway to the previous season’s win total.

“If you could have said we’d be 3-1 before the girls even set foot in the classroom, before the girls even crack a book open, I think you have to be pretty happy with that,” coach Ed Matz said.

Behind two goals from senior co-captain Kristin Kowalik and a goal and an assist by freshman midfielder Sophia Palmquist, NU dominated the Crusaders on both offense and defense for the entire match.

Junior goalkeeper Annie Petrofsky amassed her third shutout in four games, and NU’s defense held its opponent to zero shots on goal while the offense took 15 shots.

“Give [Petrofsky] credit for the shutout,” Matz said. “The defense has been pretty good and we’ve been pretty good at making teams take shots out of the zone. It’s been good for her because she needed the confidence. She sat for three years and this is her chance; she gives us another dimension because we can play balls back to her and she’s good at shooting the ball out of the back.”

Scoreless for the first 15 minutes of play, the Huskies quickly tallied four goals in the next 15 minutes.

“We might have been a little nervous because it was our first home match and we weren’t really putting a lot of passing together,” Matz said.

Kowalik got the scoring started by ripping a shot off Crusader goalie Jessica Pietrowicz’s hands that rolled into the back of the net. Less than two minutes later, Palmquist scored her first career collegiate goal off a rebound from her own penalty kick, called after she was tripped up after firing a shot that Pietrowicz blocked with her chest.

Kowalik used her speed to break through the defense for NU’s third goal moments later, angling a high, arcing ball just out of Pietrowicz’s reach.

“We broke them down with individual moves,” Matz said. “We do have a lot of speed up top and it’s good to get [Kowalik] a couple goals; she’s kind of a streaky player, so it’s good to get her some confidence early on.”

The Huskies capped the scoring when redshirt freshman midfielder Liza Rebello beat Pietrowicz far post on a breakaway in the 32nd minute of play.

NU fell 4-0 to No. 16 Boston College last Friday. Out-shot 19-2, the Huskies surrendered two goals in each half at the Newton Soccer Complex.

To begin the season, NU topped Duquesne 1-0 in the Vermont Tournament behind a tally from 15 yards out from sophomore forward Jenna Lucchesi with 10 minutes to play in the first half. The Huskies blanked tournament-host Vermont 2-0 behind goals from Kowalik and sophomore forward Caitlin Whelan. Petrofsky was awarded tournament defensive MVP; Kowalik was named offensive MVP and junior defender Laura Johnson was named overall MVP.

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