Finishing off a long weekend in North Carolina, the Huskies picked up their second conference victory of the season in a Sunday afternoon matchup against Elon.
After two tie games in a row — one against Drexel last Sunday and the other against Campbell this past Thursday — the 2-1 win was a refreshing sendoff for Northeastern to conclude their two-game road trip.
A corner kick just five and a half minutes into the game gave the Huskies an early opportunity to get on the board. Senior midfielder Jessie Hunt took the corner, sending it in prime scoring position just outside the corner of the goal box. Junior defender Katie Marchessault acted fast, lobbing in a shot dead center before the ball even stopped bouncing. With senior goalkeeper McKenna Dalfonso out of position, Elon sophomore midfielder Rachel Buckle stepped into her place, catching the ball in her chest and kicking it to the side for Dalfonso to grab. However, a quick conversation between the referees confirmed the initial call — the ball did cross the line and was ruled a Northeastern goal. The score was the second of Marchessault’s career.
Less than a minute later, sophomore forward Vivian Akyirem tried to double the Huskies’ lead, but this time, Dalfonso was able to protect her net.
With an early deficit, the Phoenix’s frustrations were evident. They gained possession of the ball, taking it into the Huskies’ end, but were unable to capitalize as they racked up three fouls and a yellow card — on senior defender Katie Lowe — in under three minutes.
As the half progressed, the Huskies continued to find their stride with corner kicks. Akyirem made an attempt off a corner in the 28th minute, with Legowski catching her rebound to follow up with another shot. Legoswki tried again a few minutes later when another corner kick came her way, but her drive couldn’t find its mark and the whistle blew with the score still at 1-0 in favor of the Huskies.
When the second half kicked off, Elon looked determined to match the Huskies’ tally. Northeastern squeaked in a couple shots in the opening minutes, but both were off-target, and Elon collected the ball to try to right their sinking ship.
They managed to notch a couple tries against Northeastern graduate student goaltender Holland Stam, one a dangerous low ball that Stam couldn’t quite keep her hands on. Senior defender Kate Rosenblatt came to her rescue and slid toward the ball to nudge it out of bounds.
A foul on Elon redshirt junior forward Isabelle Paradoski turned the tide back in the Huskies’ favor. During the reset, they made two substitutions, bringing junior forward Megan Putvinski and sophomore midfielder Ava Nace onto the field. Putvinski had just come off the field at the end of the half, but her 12 minutes of rest served her well. On rested legs, Putvinski raced towards the net as Hunt took the ball up the sideline. Hunt dropped it off to graduate student defender Addison Davis in the corner, who booted it to center. Putvinski crashed the net, narrowly beating out the Phoenix defenders as she knocked the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. The goal came just 43 seconds after Putvinski’s return to the pitch.
Luck didn’t stay with Putvinski, though, as she earned a yellow card just a few minutes after her tally. She rallied back with another bullet of a shot for the Huskies, but her attempt soared outside the left goalpost and Northeastern kept its 2-0 advantage.
With two-thirds of the game gone and sitting comfortably ahead of the Phoenix, the Huskies subbed out most of their squad for fresh feet. But while only a few minutes remained,the changes allowed Elon to find an opening and shrink the gap late in the game.
In the 85th minute, a corner kick bounced high in the air and Lowe headed it across the goal box. A purposeful head butt from junior forward Lydia Totten shot the ball into the back of the net to cut the margin down to one.
Elon tried their best to rally, desperately looking for a way through the Huskies’ defense, but Northeastern stayed strong through the remaining minutes to end the game 2-1.
The Huskies come home next Sunday for Senior Day. They’ll honor their graduating group in a match against the Hampton Pirates when they kick off at Parsons Field at 1p.m.