MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's soccer team suffered its first setback of the season on Saturday, falling 4-1 to the visiting Adelphi University Panthers at Melucci Field.
Off to its best start in program history, Saint Anselm entered the day unbeaten through their first five matches. The Hawks now drop to 3-1-2 on the year and 0-1-1 in Northeast-10 Conference play while Adelphi improves to 3-2, 2-1 in the NE10.
"Much credit needs to be given to Adelphi," said head coach Joel Bancroft. "While I felt we both found moments that opened up one another, their team executed in those moments and that was the difference in the match."
The Hawks had one of their closest scoring chances early on, when in the 14th minute senior Caly Farina (Southbury, Conn.) sent a shot with her left foot toward the right post but it trickled just wide.
The Panthers responded and struck first in the 19th minute off a penalty kick by Erica Bleimeyer. Adelphi kept up the goal scoring, tacking on another goal in the 35th minute. Following a Maialen Herreros shot off the crossbar, Hailey Franco chipped the ball past outstretched junior goalkeeper Payton Wildrick (Dartmouth, Mass.) for the second goal.
Seven minutes out of the halftime break, the Panthers added another tally to extend their lead to 3-0. Two minutes later, Alexsis Weiser drove down the left side and fired a shot towards the Hawks goal. Wildrick got a glove on it but the shot was too hard to stop for Weiser to secure the 4-0 advantage with 36 minutes remaining in regulation time.
Farina ended the Panthers' possible shutout opportunity with a goal in the 87th minute. Farina gained a cross from senior Kiley Larocque (Upton, Mass.) and buried her shot from the right side.
Adelphi registered 20 shots compared to the Hawks' 10. In net, Wildrick made four saves.
"A quality opponent with championship pedigree will highlight your vulnerabilities in a very abrupt way," said Bancroft. "The only way to positively respond is by accepting the lesson, getting back to work and preparing for the next opportunity. Those are the intensions of the group. We had such terrific support today from our families, friends and alums. Thank you all for your support."
The Hawks travel to West Haven, Conn. for another Northeast-10 matchup against the University of New Haven on Tuesday, Sept. 24. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.