The Seton Hall women’s soccer team lost 1-0 Thursday night to undefeated Cornell (5-0-2) in a tug-of-war match at Owen T. Carroll Field.
The Pirates started strong, possessing the ball for a majority of the opening minutes of the first half. Both Seton Hall and Cornell played tight defense for much of the game, especially the beginning, until Tess Pullano gave Cornell a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Pullano split the Pirate defenders and took a low-lying shot at the bottom right corner of the net, past a diving Anna MacLean.
The freshman from Thunder Bay, Ontario, was pulled in the 23rd minute of the first half, and was replaced by junior Illissa Blackshear. Head coach Rick Stainton explained this decision was based on there being a lot of pressure on MacLean lately and wanting to get her some rest, as well as getting Blackshear more minutes in net.
The second-year coach’s decision paid off as Blackshear delivered in a 67-minute performance, which included three saves and no goals allowed. When asked about Blackshear’s performance, he said it was “what we expected”.
Seton Hall finished the first half with only two shots on net, but showed signs of a comeback in the second half.
Senior midfielder Amanda Gulli hit the crossbar with a shot nine minutes in, and that was followed up two minutes later with a close opportunity on a header that Cornell goalkeeper Kelsey Tierney caught.
“It’s not for a lack of opportunity,” Stainton said. “We’re creating opportunities and now it’s the final element of putting it in the back of the net.”
Stainton made it clear that more offense needs to be generated, which is obvious considering this team has not scored more than a goal in any game all season.
This game was also somewhat of a farewell to Pirates midfielder Eva Gonzalez, as the Mesquite, Texas, native is heading off to Mexico to play for Mexico’s U-20 team.
“Eva provides us with a tremendous amount of creativity and mobility,” Stainton said. “So obviously she will be missed.”
Seton Hall will look to rebound against Albany at home on Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. in the last game of a non-conference slate.
Drew Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org