Lauren Hall wonder-goal not enough as Pirates fall 2-1 to Xavier

Seton Hall midfielder Lauren Hall’s second goal of the season could not stop the Pirates from falling to the Xavier Musketeers, 2-1, on the road in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Xavier was the more offensive side from the onset, holding possession for most of the match while maintaining a constant presence in the Pirates’ defensive half.

The first game-changing moment occurred in the middle of the first half, when Seton Hall starting goalkeeper Laura Dramis dove after a ball and was struck by a Xavier attacker. The contact appeared to catch Dramis in the face, with the Pirates starter being removed from the match thereafter.

Anna MacLean was subbed in for the Pirates officially in the 21st minute, with the experienced junior who lost her place in the starting 11, taking over for Dramis.

The Musketeers attacked MacLean hard and found their first goal in the 27th minute off of a set piece. Xavier would not score directly from the dead ball, but see a header from Abby O’ Keefe find Sydney Schembri, who put the goal home for the Musketeers.

Seton Hall put pressure on the home side to level the score before the half, but all attempts to score were shut down by Xavier goalkeeper Toni Bizzarro. Bizzarro finished the game with four saves.

The Pirates opened the second half with strong offensive pressure, unwilling to take their foot off the gas in what was a late-season game against one of their Big East rivals.

The game remained 1-0 until the 66th minute, when there, a deflection caused the ball to fall to the foot of an on-rushing Hall. From a few steps outside the box, Hall blasted a shot just past the reach of Bizzarro to tie the match for the Pirates.

The goal was a huge morale-booster for the Pirates, who had been held scoreless in their last match, on the road, against St. Johns.

Following the emphatic equalizer, Xavier pulled off an aggressive counter-strike and regained the lead.

The game-winner came in the 76th minute when Tori Doss put home her fourth goal of the season off of a throw-in. The throw-in came in perfectly to O’Keefe, who once again played the role of provider, sliding a precise pass to Doss who put in the goal.

It would be an uphill battle for Seton Hall the rest of the way, who had a last second corner kick to potentially tie the game but could not make anything of the chance.

Following the loss, the Pirates fell to 0-10-5 overall, and 0-4-3 in conference play. Their next match will be at Owen T. Carroll field on Sunday, against Providence. The game will kick off at 1 p.m., and honor former Pirate Mary L. Jennings.

Dalton Allison can be reached at dalton.allison@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @DaltonAllison4.