FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The 2014 IPFW women’s soccer team made its regular season home debut on Friday night in a non-conference matchup against Detroit (1-1-0), falling 2-0 to the visiting Titans. The game was part of a double-header at Hefner Field as the IPFW men’s soccer team opened their 2014 regular season campaign hosting Saint Joseph’s in the night cap.
For the second time in as many games, the Mastodons (0-2-0) got off to slow start, allowing a goal in the third minute of the game. The Titans’ score came off of a free kick sent into the box from the left corner after an IPFW foul. Some confusion by the defense and starting goalkeeper Sam Pavlika (Temperance, Mich.) caused a second of hesitation on the back line, resulting in Detroit’s Anna Mindling sliding the free kick past Pavlika into the right corner of the net.
The Mastodons responded well to the early adversity, picking up their intensity to produce a battle in the midfield for the remainder of the first half. The tough play led to a pair of dangerous scoring chances courtesy of the sophomore tandem of Andie Lazzerini (West Chicago, Ill.) and Gaby Romo (Goshen, Ind.). Both saw their shots go high over the crossbar, but their efforts gave the ‘Dons some momentum as they headed into halftime trailing 1-0.
The Blue and White opened the second period in attack mode and continued to put pressure on both the Detroit defense and Titans’ goalie Marina Manzo. Lazzerini and Romo again had promising opportunities at the goal, but neither was able to push the ball past Manzo.
The Titans countered with their own dose of offensive power, turning up the pressure on the IPFW defense in the last 20 minutes of regulation. After successive shots by Detroit, Titans forward Aubrey Formica took a ball from midfielder Carley Rice and blasted it towards the goal and out of Pavlika’s reach to put the visitors up 2-0 in the 71st minute.
While the home team managed to rattle off three shots in the last 15 minutes, the back of the net evaded the ‘Dons until the final clock hit zero with the scoreboard showing 2-0 in favor of the visiting team.
Despite the margin, the final tally of 12 shots a piece for each team was indicative of the back-and-forth battle that went on for a majority of the game. Pavlika, playing all 90 minutes in the net, recorded three saves on the night.
IPFW will be back in action on Sunday, August 31 at Hefner Field as they host Northern Kentucky for a 12 p.m. matchup. In the second double-header of the weekend, the Mastodons’ men’s team will face Western Michigan following the women’s match.