BROOKLINE — A soaked Sunday afternoon in Brookline turned into a stalemate for Northeastern women’s soccer, as they ended the day in a 2-2 deadlock with Drexel.
The Huskies started the game with solid possession time, maintaining pressure in their half of the pitch, but were unable to get any shots on goal. Both sophomore forwards Lauren Ahles and Vivian Akyirem had decent looks inside the box, however Drexel keeper Joella Chase’s diving stops negated any attempts Northeastern had.
After 20 minutes of some back and forth play, it seemed as though Drexel slowly began to gain an edge over the home team as they controlled possession and hemmed the Huskies in their defensive end.
The Dragons notched the first shot on goal thanks to a long kick from fifth-year Annalena O’Reilly that just caught the crossbar and bounced out. However the ensuing corner kick for Drexel proved fruitful, as defender Lily Dunbar bounced it off Ahles in front — right to graduate student Meg Tate who fired it past goalkeeper Holland Stam for the 1-0 lead.
Northeastern rebounded well, with a Rose Kaefer redirect on the doorstep a minute later and a high-danger Akyirem shot that went just past the goal post soon after to up the pressure on the Dragons. Neither shot found its way home, however.
The rain on the turf provided its challenges, as players struggled to keep their feet on the slippery surface. Senior midfielder Eleanor Fisher had the best shot for Northeastern in the final ten minutes, firing the ball right on target for the third shot on goal for the Huskies in the half. Although, once again, Chase was able to get her hands on the ball and halted the momentum.
Going into halftime, it was clear that the visitors had more control of the game than their counterparts. They had seven shots to Northeastern’s five, and their four corner kicks at the end of the first 45 minutes outnumbered the Huskies’ one. The Dragon’s however did play a chippier game, with five fouls committed — three from freshman Ava Boyd alone.
For the second half Northeastern came out with some fire, as Megan Putvinski had a brilliant header opportunity 40 seconds in off a feed from Kaefer along the far side. The ball flew right over the crossbar and out of play, however, and the Dragons maintained their one goal lead.
Drexel head coach Ray Goon opted to switch out his keepers for the second half, as he’s done for the majority of the season so far. Replacing Chase in net was senior goalie Molly Piso, who came into the game with a .692 save percentage on the season.
Northeastern earned just their second corner kick of the game in the 53rd minute of play. During the attempt, fifth year Alexis Legowski was brought down hard in front of the goal by an opposing player, earning the Huskies a penalty kick.
Akyirem stepped up for Northeastern at the line, and put it up perfectly over Piso’s right shoulder and into the back of the net to tie the game at one.
After failing to convert in the Huskies first four games of the season, this marks the third straight match where Akyirem has notched a goal.
Right after the score however, lightning strikes were spotted in the area, halting the game for a weather delay. After a 50 minute pause, the teams came back onto the pitch but were sent back off after seven minutes of game play due to more weather issues.
Drexel came out sharp from the first weather delay, once again having control of the ball and cutting off any Northeastern breakout attempt. After the second delay was a similar story, however the Huskies battled back and were able to get some shots toward the pipes as well.
Junior Avery LeVangie broke the deadlock for Northeastern, giving them their first lead of the day in the 73rd minute. Piso originally let the ball slip past her towards the goal, tracking it the whole way. LeVangie with a head of steam burst past her and was able to chip it in while falling to the pitch for her third tally of the season.
Five minutes later the Dragons roared back, after a mad scramble off a corner kick in front allowed Boyd to capitalize by sprawling out to put the ball in the open cage. The goal marked the first of Boyd’s NCAA career in her eighth game played.
It also ended up being the final goal of the game, as the pressure on either side proved fruitless and the final horn sounded with 2-2 on the board. The horn also marked the end of Northeastern’s five-game homestand, which they completed with a record of 2-1-2, including a win and a tie to open CAA play.
Northeastern will next head down to North Carolina for their first ever CAA matchup with the Campbell Fighting Camels on Thursday. They’ll wrap up their weekend road trip with a stop at Elon the following Sunday, before returning home for more action at Parsons Field.
WRBB will return to live coverage of Northeastern Women’s Soccer on Sunday, Sept. 24, as the Huskies take on the Hampton Pirates. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.