Knights Advance to NEC Women’s Soccer Tourney Semis at CCSU

By Equinox Staff

Freshman Andrea Ougaard scored on an empty net at the 86th minute to lift Fairleigh Dickinson to a 2-1 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) in Sunday’s first-round Northeast Conference women’s soccer tournament at home.

With the win, fourth-seeded FDU advanced to the tournament semifinals at top-seeded Central Connecticut State at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3.  No. 2 Merrimack will play No. 3 Sacred Heart in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. Winners advance to the conference championship match at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at the highest remaining seed. CCSU seeks its fifth-straight league championship and its 13th title since league play began in 1995.

FDU improved to 7-10-2 overall and 5-2-2 in league play. Against St. Francis, the Knights unleashed a 28-shot offense – 19 in the second half — and took the lead on Maple Glen, Pa., sophomore Leighann Kafel’s first collegiate goal 17 minutes into the match on a play that started off an FDU corner kick. St. Francis tied the score at 1-1 when Jaela House scored at the 82nd-minute mark of the match, setting up Ougaard’s heroics.

In goal, FDU’s Malene Nielsen, a sophomore from Denmark, and last year’s NEC goalie of the year, finished with four saves on 7 St. Francis shots.

“I feel we came out and really worked hard, we were aggressive and did all the things we have been trying to put together and I felt today was one of the most complete games we have all season. To be in control of the game, give up the goal and come back to score right away says a lot about the mentality of the team.” FDU head coach Eric Teepe said.  “We need to recover and regroup to be ready mentally and physically for the semifinal match.”  

FDU is 7-14-1 against the 12-time conference champion after coming back for a 1-1 tie the last time the teams met, on Oct. 16 at CCSU. In the NEC championship game last year, CCSU defeated the Knights, 3-0.

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