BROOKLINE — While the Huskies did not get the exact result they wanted Thursday night in their 2-2 draw against Drexel, junior midfielder Jessie Hunt came away with a memorable individual accomplishment.
In the 80th minute, with Northeastern facing a 2-1 deficit following two unanswered goals by Drexel, Hunt did something she has had no trouble doing all season — she got an assist.
However, this assist not only led to a game-tying goal, but it also gave Hunt the Northeastern record for most assists in a single season with 10. She is now tied for second in the country in assists, with two games left to play.
After spending the past two seasons at Wisconsin, this season with the Huskies has provided Hunt a new opportunity. Not only is she getting more minutes this year, but she’s also in a new position as an attacking midfielder. At Wisconsin, she played mostly as an outside back. Northeastern head coach Ashley Phillips felt she could tap into something else with the Huskies.
“We thought she’s a little different in terms of her dynamic ability on the ball, we just saw some possibility,” Phillips said. “So we tried it out. I think in our first inner squads, she scored two goals and I’m like, well, this is perfect. She’s a new 10.”
Hunt was not the only star for the Huskies either as they battled with the Dragons in the pouring rain. The weather made offense more difficult, but Northeastern was able to figure things out early as senior forward Nina Dooley knocked in a rebound off the left post in just the second minute of play.
Between their two goals, the Huskies played an incredibly even match with the Dragons, who they entered the game tied with for first place in the CAA.
Drexel responded well to their early deficit, continuously applying pressure and outshooting Northeastern 9-2 over the next 40 minutes. Grad student goalkeeper Holland Stam handled them all, closing out the second half with her shutout intact.
The start of the second half was sloppy for both teams, as the weather continued to fluctuate between a light drizzle and a monsoon. Both teams proceeded to take turns lofting balls back and forth and practicing their heading skills as very few attacks were launched and the ball stayed put in the midfield.
Once the weather eased up, the Dragons capitalized on a mistake by the Huskies’ defense. Redshirt-junior midfielder Anna Salvucci got a pass on the right wing from junior forward Delaney Lappin and tore towards the goal. Once she got an opening Salvucci chipped a ball towards the net and watched it float over the outstretched fingertips of a leaping Stam.
The goal tied the game but the Huskies responded quickly, finding great opportunities from set pieces and continued to ramp up the pressure but found no goals.
In the 75th, the Dragons forced Stam into another tough position. This time it was Lappin who tried a header that Stam was just barely able to reach. Stam tapped it forward with her glove as she fell backwards but right to the waiting senior forward Isabel Kuzy who gave Drexel the lead with her fourth goal of the season.
Northeastern was not completely out however despite giving up two unanswered. The corner kick by Hunt and finish by sophomore forward Megan Putvinski tied the game late and allowed them to maintain their spot tied for first.
The Huskies have two games left in their regular season, a home game against the Delaware Blue Hens this Sunday and a road matchup with the Monmouth Hawks on Oct. 23. On Thursday night Monmouth secured a win over Delaware, tying them with Drexel and Northeastern atop the conference with 14 points.
If the Huskies win out and Drexel drops points in one of their next two, then they will secure home field advantage for the CAA Tournament.
Stay tuned to WRBB for coverage of both Northeastern women’s and men’s soccer as the regular season wraps up, and postseason play begins.