Oct. 22, 2011
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College women's soccer team defeated the Connecticut Huskies, 2-1, in a critical match on October 22 at Glay Field. The Friars finish their regular season, 7-8-4 overall and 5-6-0 in the BIG EAST. They are now No. 4 in the BIG EAST American Division and will advance to the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
In a very close matchup between Providence and Connecticut, the Huskies managed to score first to end a draw through the first half. In the 59th minute Courtney Wilkinson-Maitland passed the ball forward and Jessica Shufelt carried it ahead with little pressure from Providence. Shufelt eventually chipped it over senior goalkeeper Caitlin Walker's (Metuchen, N.J.) head to put Connecticut ahead, 1-0.
The Friars kept the pressure on and were able to notch a goal in the 81st minute when Di Clemente scored on a free kick after being fouled in front of the goal. She sent the ball over the player wall and into the top left corner of the net to score the equalizer for the Friars. "It's something we've practiced a lot so I had the confidence to do it, and why not," Di Clemente said, of taking a risky shot over the wall on the free kick.
The game-winning goal came in the last minute of play when senior Emily Castle (Stonington, Conn.) took a corner kick and put the ball in front of the net. On a deflection from the corner kick, Di Clemente was able to get a shot off from 20 yards out and put the ball in the bottom left corner for the victory.
"We never let down throughout the entire game," said Head Coach Jim McGirr. "Down one nothing we pressed them and what really made the difference was switching to a 4-3-3 after the goal. I'm just happy," he said, of the success of the team and Providence making it to the BIG EAST Tournament for the first since 1994.
The Friars will host BIG EAST National Division No. 5 Rutgers, on Thursday, October 27. Game time is yet to be announced.