WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore forward Gina Righini (Salem, N.H.) netted her second game-winning goal of the season with 22:38 remaining in the second half to give the Holy Cross women's soccer team the 2-1 victory over visiting Lafayette on Saturday afternoon at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium. The Crusaders are now 6-7-1 on the season and 2-2-0 in the Patriot League, while the Leopards fall to 4-9-2 (1-3-0 Patriot League).
Holy Cross got on the board just 10:14 into the game when junior Cassie Muzik (Massapequa, N.Y.) avoided a defender and struck the ball from just outside the 18-yard line past Lafayette junior goalkeeper Lauren Smedley. It was the third goal of the season for Muzik. The Crusaders outshot the Leopards 12-1 in the first half and took the 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Lafayette came out attacking in the second half, putting up eight shots on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Carly McCabe (Barrington, R.I.) preserved the Crusaders' lead with just over 30 minutes remaining in the game when Leopards forward Jaclyn Giordano stayed onsides but snuck past the Holy Cross defense and fired a shot on a breakaway from 15 yards out. McCabe came out to meet the attacker and made a sprawling save punching the ball to the near sideline.
Righini added the eventual game-winning goal off a pass from midfield by sophomore defender Ally Pasquariello (Suffield, Conn.). Righini corralled the ball in stride and beat Smedley on the far side. It was Pasquariello's first career point and Righini's fourth goal of the season. The Leopards finally got on the board with 4:58 remaining when sophomore Alyssa Finelli received a short pass from fellow classmate Laura Zito just inside the penalty box and buried the ball in the far side of the net. Despite the Leopards' late offensive attack the Crusaders earned their second conference win of the season.
Each goalkeeper made seven saves as McCabe improved to 5-4-1 on the season while Smedley is now 4-8-2. Holy Cross outshot the Leopards 17-10 in the game.
Holy Cross will return to action on Tuesday, Oct. 16, traveling to Harvard for its final non-conference game of the season at 7:00 p.m.