Breaking News:

So Much Sports Baltimore has officially shut down on August 7, 2017, but would like to thank all of our readers, writers and everybody who helped make this website possible.

Porretto’s pair of goals hands Mustangs win

By: Allan Blanks

Jordan Porretto led the Mustangs to a season-opening win over Dickinson with two goals.

Jordan Porretto led the Mustangs to a season-opening win over Dickinson with two goals.

Clutch scoring and relentless defense sparked late­-game heroics from the Stevenson women’s soccer team. During the 95th minute, the Mustangs’ Ashlyn Hawbaker fed Jordan Porretto, who nailed a 25­-yard goal, to secure a 3-­2 victory over the Dickinson College Red Devils.

“We knew during overtime that we had to go all-out and all-in,” Porretto said. “We couldn’t hold anything back. Ashlyn (Hawbaker) played an amazing ball back to me for a layoff, I saw the net, and knew I had to make it in.”

For the contest, 30 shots were taken between Dickinson and Stevenson. Throughout regulation, the Red Devils edged the Mustangs 16­-11. During overtime, Stevenson’s defense turned the tide, and rejected the Red Devils shot attempts. In extra­-minutes, the Mustangs held a critical 3­-0, advantage.

Midway through the second half, Mustangs midfielder Allie Ondrejcak disrupted the Red Devils passing attack and delivered a lob pass to teammate Alexis Siejack. Siejack quickly advanced the ball near the box and lofted a cross to Wittman, who crushed a reverse header at the 53rd minute, and gave Stevenson a 2­-1 lead.

“Lexi (Alexis Siejack) did a good job going down the line, and made a good cross,” Wittman said. “Honestly, I headed it, hoped it went towards the goal, and it went in.”

Porretto led all scorers with two goals, followed by Wittman’s solo score. Both Perretto and Wittman tied Stevenson with three shots­-on­-goal, while Ondrejcak, Siejack, and Hawbaker each issued an assist.

Defensively, the Mustangs’ goalkeeper Tiffany McKee recorded eight saves.

“The win was on our mind the whole time,” Porretto said. “We weren’t going to lose on our home field tonight, losing wasn’t an option.”

Aside from starting the season with a win, the Mustangs sought vengeance against their visiting opponent. Since 2008, Dickinson and Stevenson have battled four times, with each meeting decided by one goal. With this latest victory, the Mustangs tied the series two games all. Last year Dickinson beat Stevenson 3-2 in Carlisle, PA.

“It feels good [to avenge a defeat to Dickinson College],” Stevenson University Head Coach Graeme Millar said. “Any win feels good, but to beat a team that came here and played tough, that went up a goal on us, we showed character and came back.”

In the first stanza, the Mustangs offense set a feverish pace and quickly matriculated passes into Dickinson territory. Although Stevenson moved the ball with ease, scoring opportunities were difficult to achieve. The Mustangs missed their first four shots-­on­-goal, and would take 35 minutes before Stevenson scored.

As the Mustangs offense stalled, the Red Devils found their range, and scored quickly. At the five minute mark, Dickinson’s Jenna Lamb attacked the box and arched her shot just above the reach of McKee.

In response, the Mustangs defense employed a zone scheme that frustrated and confused the Red Devils offense.

“Most teams aren’t used to what we do,” Senior defender Emily Losquadro said. “We don’t mark man­-to­-man, we do a zone, and that threw them off.”

The zone coverage proved effective, as it held the Red Devils scoreless for 65 minutes. Aside from the variation of schemes, Stevenson installed freshman midfielder Sam Hooker, who’s aggressive play assisted the Mustangs midfielding core.

“We threw in a loop today,” Millar said. “Kailee Ziegler was sick today, so we had to throw in freshman Sam Hooker. Sam (Hooker) is still learning her formations, so for her to go in and compete with a strong team, she did very well.”

With the first half winding down, the Mustangs needed a big play to stay in the match. During a free kick try, Ondrejcak booted a laser shot past the Dickinson defense, and Perretto capitalized on the fortuitous deflection, that allowed her to make a quick dribble and deliver her first goal of the season, 35 minutes into the match.

At the half, Stevenson tied the Red Devils 1-­1.

True to expectations, each defense refused to surrender goals.

“Emily Losquadro did a good job of leading,” Millar said. “We made some changes and Emily (Losquadro) held things together. We still have a few things to work on, but the defense did a great job for their first game together.”

The Mustangs continued to keep the Red Devils off-­balanced and forced long range shots. Communication was frequent across the field, and confidence was on the rise.

“We’re working a lot on communication,” Losquadro said. “I think we did really well in this game, mainly working on swinging our back forwards side­-to­-side, to cut off angled passes.”

While Dickinson’s offense floundered, Stevenson attempted to break the game open, with a critical connection from Siejack to Wittman. With 53 minutes elapsed, the reverse header from Wittman stunned netminder, Charlotte Armour, and gave the Mustangs a momentary 2-­1 advantage.

Down but far from finished, Dickinson made one final push. At the 70th minute, the Red Devils’ Hannah Matlack facilitated a pass to Olivia Termini, who floated a shot just out McKee’s reach.

Deadlocked at two goals, the contest fittingly approached overtime.

Identical to the first stanza, Stevenson attacked the ball and commanded the pace. Contrary to the opening period, the Mustangs struck first and Porretto closed the match with an emphatic goal that faded from Armour’s reach.

As defending champions, Stevenson is aware of the challenges and difficulties ahead.

“We got a tough schedule,” Millar said. “We don’t play any easy teams, so we take things one game at a time. We’re not looking ahead to the conference playoffs, we’re just going to look ahead to our next opponent which is Eastern Mennonite on Saturday.”

The following two tabs change content below.

Allan Blanks

Latest posts by Allan Blanks (see all)

Comments are closed.