WSOC Edged at Delaware; 2-1

Senior Ashley Clarke attempted a game-high four shots against Delaware

Senior Ashley Clarke attempted a game-high four shots against Delaware

Sept. 15, 2013

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NEWARK, DEL. – With the Seton Hall women’s soccer team trailing by one in the second half at Delaware, senior Marie Klemme (Berlin, Germany) tucked a free kick into the top left corner to level the score but the Blue Hens struck again with less than three minutes to play to come away with a 2-1 victory over the Pirates on Sunday afternoon.

The Hall (1-5-2) was forced to try and mount a comeback for the sixth time in eight matches this season and despite the equalizer, was unable to put a blemish on Delaware’s perfect home record.

The weather was cool and calm but play at the outset was anything but as the teams combined to be whistled for seven fouls inside the first 13 minutes.

Senior midfielder Ashley Clarke (Paramus, N.J.) was the first player from either squad to produce a shot at goal, forcing UD keeper Jessica Levy to make a stop just shy of the 21-minute mark. Less than a minute later, Clarke fired another one of her game-high four attempts on the day but her effort sailed wide left.

Seven minutes after entering the game as a substitute for junior Angie Shehaj (East Brunswick, N.J.), Klemme made her presence felt with a shot that forced Levy into action once again but she was there to make the save to keep the game scoreless in the 40th minute.

With the clock ticking towards halftime, the Blue Hens mounted a late attack of their own but senior keeper Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearny, N.J.) was up to the task as she made two saves in the final four minutes to send the teams into the break deadlocked in a scoreless draw.

Just under 10 minutes after the restart, Delaware cracked a stout SHU defense as Shannon Kearney sent a cross in from the right wing and Chelsea Duffy was waiting at the far post to slot it home to give her team a 1-0 edge.

The score broke a 173-minute shutout streak for Pettigrew and the Pirates and was the first goal that the senior had allowed in the run of play in a span of 213 minutes that stretched back to her career-day against #5/#4 Virginia a week ago.

UD pressed hard to widen the gap to two but Pettigrew made a key stop on Emily Market’s 59th minute effort before denying Duffy a second one minute later to hold the deficit where it stood.

Following a foul on the Blue Hens in the 63rd minute, Klemme stood over the ball for the ensuing free kick. She stepped up and powered a shot out of the reach of Levy and into the top left corner; leveling the score with her first goal of the season.

Neither team was able to find the target for seven minutes following Klemme’s strike but in the 70th minute, Pettigrew stonewalled Duffy once more for her fifth save of the match.

Seton Hall manufactured two more chances of its own in the last 15 minutes of regulation but Levy was there to corral shots from both Clarke and freshman Sarah Cortes (Paramus, N.J.).

With less than two and a half minutes separating the Pirates and Blue Hens from heading to overtime for a second straight year, UD broke through as Natalie Zelenky found the eventual game winner from in close; finishing off a feed from teammate Madison Brosler.

It was the second-straight time that a showdown between Seton Hall and Delaware (3-4-0) ended with a 2-1 final score after Clarke lifted the Pirates to victory with an overtime goal at home last season.

Despite the loss, Pettigrew’s performance continued what has been an impressive run of form for the Pirates’ captain who made her return from injury this season. She entered the weekend as the BIG EAST leader in saves and after a six-save shutout of Princeton in Friday night’s draw and five saves against the Blue Hens, she now has 42 through eight matches.

Upon closer examination, Pettigrew has been nothing short of outstanding in her last three outings; stopping 23 of the last 25 shots she has faced in the run of play.

With her four-shot effort, Clarke continued to climb yet another career list for The Hall as she now ranks sixth all-time with 110 career attempts  after increasing her season total to a team-leading 15 on Sunday.

The Pirates will return home on Wednesday, September 18 to face Marist in what will be the team’s final non-conference match of the season. Start-time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from Owen T. Carroll Field.