Offense set the tone early for the Emerson women's soccer team on Saturday night at Rotch Field. The Rivier Raiders did not have an answer for the Lions' relentless attack and were subject to a 9-0 loss. The win improved the Lions' record to 7-3 overall and to 3-2 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).
"I thought it was a much-needed win," said senior broadcast journalism major and co-captain Tina Danforth. "It was a conference win [and] the best game we played all year."
Head Coach Jason Tassinari agreed.
"We played well," Tassinari said. "Rivier didn't give us a lot of resistance."
The only scare of the night came not from a Rivier player, but an Emerson one. Junior TV/video major Virginia Hunter received a hard shot to the head and was down for a few moments. She eventually got up and walked back to the bench.
"She took a pretty good shot, but she'll be alright," Tassinari said.
The game was all Lions from the start, as sophomore film major Casey Whalen lasered the ball, which ricocheted off Rivier goalkeeper Kristen Magro's hands and found the net to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. That was enough for goalkeeper Katie Hartman, a sophomore film major, who recorded her fifth shutout of the season.
"We passed the ball really well tonight," said Hartman, who was hardly contested by the Rivier offense. "[I've] got to give it up to the midfielders. They really moved the ball. It was just a well-rounded game tonight."
Following Whalen's goal to open the game, sophomore broadcast journalism major Mallory Moretti scored two straight goals less than six minutes apart.
Moretti's second goal was from senior print journalism major and Beacon News Editor Amanda Pinto, who kept the Rivier defense off balance with her ball handling and timely passes.
The Lions controlled the ball in the offensive zone for most of the first half, as they out-shot the Raiders 27-2. Five of those shots found their way past Magro, giving the Lions a commanding 5-0 lead after the first 45 minutes of play.
Senior TV/video major Kristy Fortier led all players with three assists.
"Once we started scoring, the goals kept coming," Tassinari said.
Danforth said despite the lead, the Lions had to keep the pressure on.
"At halftime, we needed to keep our composure," she said. "It's easy to sit back and let the defense take over. [We're] going to keep scoring goals. If we stop, we're not working as a team."
Moretti had a bid for her third goal, which would have given her a hat trick early in the second half, but the ball was grabbed on a diving save by Magro.
"I'm happy with the two goals, but the third would have been really nice," Moretti said about her efforts. "But, when you win 9-0 there should be no complaints."
The onslaught continued into the second half as Ambrose scored 20 seconds in. Senior marketing communications major Caitlin Joyce lofted a floating header over the Rivier defense and into the back of the net.
A minute and a half later, Pinto buried a goal all alone in front of the net, blasting it past Magro's dive to her left and putting the Lions up 8-0 with 33:59 to play.
Tassinari put freshman Ana Lowry in goal, giving Hartman the rest of the night off after stopping only two shots.
The final blow from Emerson came off the foot of senior writing, literature and publishing major Alicia Carr as she beat Magro for her second goal, which was the Lions' ninth and final goal of the night.
"They know what to do to win," Tassinari said. "They've got the tools to succeed."