SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Sept. 1, 2017) – Powered by two goals and an assist from ECC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year sophomore Ally Boots (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza), the Mercy College women's soccer team exploded for four goals in a 4-1 victory at perennial NCAA Tournament contender American International College on Friday night at Abdow Field.
The Mavericks (1-0) defeat the Yellow Jackets (0-1) for the first time in program history and win their second straight season opener.
The two goals and five points are career highs for Boots, while junior Haley Noble (Torrance, Calif./Torrance) added a goal and an assist. Senior Alyssa Iannuzzi (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) also found the back of the net and redshirt junior Ileen Mejia (Whittier, Calif./La Mirada) contributed an assist. Senior Ashley Price (Goodyear, Ariz./Millennium) played the first half and made one save before giving way to freshman Melissa Torres (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) who played the second half with one save to earn the win.
Linnea Herbertsson scored the lone goal for American International with Johanna Nilsson assisting on the goal. Goalkeeper Mikayla Demanche made two saves in 90 minutes to take the loss.
Mercy faced a tall task in taking on a Yellow Jackets squad that won a game in the NCAA Tournament last year and was opening up their 2017 season under the lights on their home field. However, the Mavericks were more than ready for the challenge.
Both teams had scoring chances early with AIC hitting the post and Noble hitting the crossbar with a shot in the 20th minute. The Yellow Jackets broke through with the game's first goal in the 32nd minute when Nilsson fed Herbertsson off a free kick to put the hosts up 1-0.
After a tough 1-0 loss to AIC last year, the Mavericks looked to be headed in the wrong direction but Boots had something to say about that. The sophomore took a pass from Mejia and fired a shot from close to the goal into the back of the net to tie the game up at 1-1 with six minutes left in the first half.
The teams headed into the locker rooms tied up at 1-1 with the Yellow Jackets holding a 6-3 edge in shots.
Mercy came out strong in the second half and took the lead for good in the 57th minute when Iannuzzi finished off a corner kick that was dropped in front of the net to make it 2-1. Just under four minutes later the Mavericks tacked on another goal as Boots scored again on a two-man breakaway with Noble, increasing the lead to 3-1 in the 61st minute.
The Mavericks continued to apply pressure to the Yellow Jackets backline and Noble capped off the impressive road win with a goal with less than a minute left.
The two teams both recorded nine shots and Mercy held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
Head Coach Jonathan Feinstein and the Mavericks look to make it two wins in a row when they play Southern Connecticut State at American International on Sunday, September 3rd at 2 p.m.