Patriots drop third-straight in 3-0 loss to Delaware

Freshman Sarah Hardison pushes the ball out of harms way in Sunday's loss (Photo by Gopi Raghu).
Freshman Sarah Hardison pushes the ball out of harms way in Sunday's loss (Photo by Gopi Raghu).

The George Mason University women’s soccer team registered a third consecutive defeat, falling 3-0 to Delaware at the George Mason Stadium on Sunday.

Two goals from Chelsea Duffy in the 42nd and in the 87th minutes, and a goal by Alison Stark between them sunk an injury-struck Mason team.

Although Mason were first to come close to score in the first half when a corner taken by Amanda Stephenson deflected off a Delaware defender in the penalty box and struck the post, the Patriots rarely threatened Jess Figueroa’s goal in the first half.

On the other hand, Delaware was more often on the attacking end, creating chances through Duffy, Elise Kraue, and Shannon Kearney, but Mason’s defense held tight. However, the backline was beaten three minutes before the break, when a cross from the right reached Kraue on the far post. She returned it to the traffic in front of the Patriots’ goal with her head, where Duffy beat goalkeeper Lyndse Hokanson to the ball and opened the scoreline.

An additional blow to the Patriots was the injury of midfielder Nicolette Herdegen, who dropped on the ground in the 30th minute without any contact.

Five minutes into the second half, the Blue Hens scored again after a corner, when Dianna Marinaro was left unmarked and took the ball, feinted a defender and fired home from the edge of the penalty box.

Despite falling two goals behind, Mason kept fighting and controlled the possession of the ball for the most part of the second half. However, the team again found it hard to create clear chances. The best opportunity for the Patriots came in the 76th minute when a well-struck close-range free kick went just inches wide of the right post of Delaware’s goal.

The Blue Hens did their damage mainly on counter attacks and created some good chances by Nikki Adams and Duffy. One of these attacks started after a poorly taken Mason corner in the 87th minute. The Blue Hens’ offenders did well to quickly transition into attack and won themselves a penalty. Duffy stepped up and confidently put the ball in Hokanson’s goal, despite the goalkeeper diving in the right corner.

The game was the last non-conference test for the Patriots, who travel to the University of Dayton for their opening Atlantic-10 conference game on Oct. 4. Kickoff is at 5:30 pm.

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