Ali Waxgiser’s First Collegiate Goal Lifts Women’s Soccer Over Wentworth

By Tyger Allen | Herald Contributor

The women’s soccer team played their sixth Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) game on Tuesday, this time against Wentworth Institute of Technology. The Hawks came out with a 1-0 win against the Leopards. Wentworth came off a 2-0 loss to conference rival Western New England University prior to their matchup against the Roger Williams University Hawks.

Before the match, the Hawks sat in second place in the conference with a 4-0-1 CCC record, which tied them with Endicott College. They came off a strong 4-1 win against conference opponent Curry College and looked to keep their momentum up against the defending CCC champions.

Their opponents, the Leopards, were in fifth place and looking to leap past Gordon College in the rankings with a conference win.

Last regular season, the Hawks hosted Wentworth and battled hard, but came away with a scoreless tie. In the playoffs this past season, Wentworth found themselves as the second seed in the CCC. After an early loss by the top-seeded Hawks, the Leopards became the team to beat, hosting the semifinals and conference championship on their field in Boston.

In the conference championship, Wentworth defeated Gordon 4-0 and punched their ticket to the N.C.A.A. tournament. They lost in the second round, but used that experience to fuel their next season. However, with nine seniors not returning to their roster from the prior year, they have found themselves in the middle of the CCC rankings.

Wentworth celebrated their family weekend and senior day by honoring the five seniors on the Leopards roster. The game kicked off at 12:33 p.m. and the Hawks showed Wentworth how pressing their offense is. Roger Williams was able to produce 10 shots in the first half, but only put four on net.

With around 15 minutes left in the first half, the Hawks brought the ball downfield and junior forward Arianna Delli Carpini fed the ball to freshman Ali Waxgiser, who knocked the ball into the right side of the net for her first goal of the season. With the late goal, the Hawks took a 1-0 lead into the half.

Wentworth began the second half with a comeback in mind. The Leopards took nine shots in the second half–seven more than their first half total. Goalkeeper Natalie O’Donovan turned aside all four shots that were on goal and recorded a shutout victory for the Hawks.

“We were super excited that was [Waxgiser’s] first goal and it was the game-winner,” said junior Jenny Nasser. “We were so happy to win another CCC game. We have a big week this week, but we are on a real high from that win.”

The Hawks remain in second place, with Endicott defeating Curry 4-0, and only have two games left. A strong showing in these games would guarantee them either the first or second spot in the CCC tournament. Depending on how the first-seeded Endicott Gulls perform, the Hawks could take the No. 1 seed like they did last season.

Follow @TygerAllen on Twitter.