Sharks bite Lions

"The last few games have been tough," said sophomore broadcast journalism major Mallory Moretti.,”The Emerson College women's soccer team faced off against their fellow co-champions of last season's Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) regular season last Saturday.

"The last few games have been tough," said sophomore broadcast journalism major Mallory Moretti.

Emerson Head Coach Jason Tassinari said a number of factors contributed to the defeat, which he called "a collective breakdown" of offense and defense.

"We didn't defend very well one-on-one," Tassinari said. "Our work rate wasn't up to par and when you play good teams they'll make you pay for any slight issues with concentration or any slight problems with marking [defenders]."

Simmons was playing host at the Windsor School near Fenway Park and wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard as speedy forward Nicole Zielinski kicked the ball into the net just nine minutes in the game.

The Lions managed some offensive attacks and played solid defense, but Simmons goalkeeper Kathleen Taglieri made several challenges and diving saves as Emerson continually attempted, and failed, to score in the first half.

Despite solid efforts from the Lions' defenders, Simmons' Zielinski scored two goals within two minutes-one by beating a defender and the other from the corner of the field, putting the Sharks up 3-0 with 7:02 to play in the first.

Simmons forward Christina Aldrich put her name on the scoreboard less than a minute later, receiving a crisp pass from senior midfielder Sally Troy and kicking the ball past Emerson sophomore goalkeeper Katie Hartman, giving Simmons a comfortable 4-0 lead.

"We were a little frantic sometimes," Emerson junior Stacey Ambrose said of her team's play in the first half. "We just kind of collapsed."

Ambrose felt the team struggled defensively.

"[We were] focused more on getting numbers forward and sometimes we'd leave our defense hanging," she said.

The second half featured a near-goal by sophomore Casey Whalen after an Emerson free kick, but no shots were falling into the net for either team until 13 minutes were left in the game.

Zielinski once again came sprinting toward the Emerson goalie, tallying her fourth and final goal of the afternoon.

Several minutes later, Emerson came up with a well-executed play of its own when Ambrose fed Whalen the ball directly in front of the Simmons' goalkeeper. Whalen angled her shot well and Emerson recorded its only goal with 24:06 to play.

Tassinari said he was proud that his reserves came off the bench to allow only one goal in the final half but that the team, as a whole, needs to work on its concentration on the field.

"We've got to make sure that psychologically and mentally we're prepared to play," Tassinari said. "We can't work on anything else tactically or technically without our heads being in the right place."

The team said they know they must start playing like they did last season.

"We need to go full throttle at MIT," Moretti said. "We are unstoppable at home."