Tigers clip Blackbirds
Towson (5-4-1) concluded its final two non-conference games on the road with a 3-0 win Sunday afternoon against the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds (2-6-1) and Friday 2-1 over the St. Francis Red Flash (3-6-1).
Junior forward Rhianna Zalewski got the Tigers started in Sunday’s game.
At 7:56, she scored the first goal after a rebounded save from Blackbirds keeper Jessica Sexton. The shot was originally taken by junior midfielder Katie Ponce who assisted Zalewski with the goal.
Two and a half minutes later senior forward Emily Banes took a shot from 18 yards out after receiving a pass from junior forward Sofia Read. The shot went in the upper right corner of the net and gave the Tigers a 2-0 advantage.
“I think our girls did a great job taking advantage of the opportunities we created,” Head Coach Greg Paynter said.
The Blackbirds struggled to score a goal as the Tigers held onto the lead at the half.
Only three minutes into the second half, freshman defender Ariana Rinda continued the Tigers offensive pressure as she powered a shot from 20 yards out past Sexton in the upper 90.
This was Rinda’s first collegiate career goal.
“Ariana made a great run forward and Amanda Novy found her and it was just a great opportunity,” Paynter said. “Her goal is a product of our girls listening to the game plan.”
The Tigers were threatened in the 65th minute after the Blackbirds received a free kick outside the box. LIU-Brooklyn appeared to score off a header that past junior goalie Erin Quinn, but was called off with an offside call.
The Tigers would hold on to win the game 3-0.
In Friday’s game, the Red Flash outshot the Tigers 8-2 in the first half, but both teams struggled to score.
“I think it’s a very difficult game to score goals,” Paynter said. “St. Francis was very good.”
The Tigers came out in the second half changing the game in the 55th minute after a foul by the Red Flash rewarded them with a free kick. Read took advantage just outside the box, scoring her third goal of the season.
“She [Read] recognized that the defense was out of position and she took advantage of it and exploited them when they weren’t paying attention,” Paynter said. “Once we did that, it took St. Francis out of there rhythm a little bit.”
Four minutes later, Banes scored on a breakaway, putting the Tigers up 2-0.
“Once we scored the second goal, it really took St. Francis out of their game plan,” Paynter said.
The Tigers were unable hold onto the shutout, as a corner kick bounced off a Tiger defender in the 88th minute to cut the lead in half.
The Red Flash outshot the Tigers 13-8.
“To get two wins is quite an accomplishment,” Paynter said. “It’s tough to do it, but that’s why we play.”
The Tigers return to the field Thursday against the Delaware Blue Hens at the Tiger Soccer Complex at 3 p.m. This is the Tigers first game of Colonial Athletic Association play.
“Were playing with some confidence,” Paynter said. “I’m looking forward to getting our first points in the conference.