ADRIAN, Mich. – Carlee Pallett (Plainwell, Mich./Plainwell) scored two goals as the Siena Heights women’s soccer team opened its season with an impressive 6-0 non-conference win over Purdue Calumet (Ind.) at O’Laughlin Stadium on Tuesday.
Alessia Vagnini (Garden City, Mich./Ladywood), Hannah Ulrich (Saline, Mich./Saline), Alexis Donnelly (Oregon, Ohio/Clay) and Alli Howard (Novi, Mich./Novi) also tallied goals for the Saints, who took the lead just 1:41 into the game and never looked back. On a night where Siena Heights fired 31 shots compared to only seven by the visitors, it was smooth sailing as seven different SHU players notched a point.
During the second minute, Pallett took advantage of a speed difference and worked her way around a Purdue Calumet defender. She received a pass from Vagnini and dribbled into the box before beating Peregrine goalkeeper Keeley Mazurkiewicz from ten yards out. The goal was Pallett’s second goal in her career as well as her second game-winning goal.
The game continued with the Saints maintaining possession and substantially more opportunities than their opponents. In the 25th minute, Pallett was the benefactor of some great work by Donnelly, who traveled into the box for a point-blank shot, but was turned away by Mazurkiewicz. The rebound popped right back to Donnelly, who calmly laid the ball over to Pallett for a goal from 15 yards out.
Siena Heights tacked on an additional goal in the first half when Vagnini scored in the 32nd minute off a pass from Ulrich, giving the hosts a comfortable 3-0 halftime lead. In the first period, the Saints held a 12-3 shot advantage while none of the three shots against were on net.
The second half proved much of the same, starting with Ulrich’s first goal of the year in the 50th minute. She knocked in a pass from Elizabeth Davis (Fenton, Mich./Fenton) from 25 yards out.
Donnelly made the score 5-0 with her first goal of the year, which came in the 56th minute. Vagnini was credited with her second assist of the game on the play. She carried the ball to the side of the 18-yard box, deftly deked a defender and held the ball while awaiting reinforcements. A pass to the penalty-kick marker led to Donnelly’s blast into the side netting.
Howard closed out the scoring in the 82nd minute when she chipped a shot over the keeper. Lynn Hendricks (Temperance, Mich./Bedford) assisted the play.
The only major trouble the Saints found themselves in happened during the final three minutes, when Purdue Calumet had two shots on goal. The first SOG brought about a sprawling save from Hayley Reynolds (Saline, Mich./Saline), who dove to her left on a point-blank opportunity. Reynolds knocked the ball wide of the goal and calmly made a second, substantially easier save a minute later.
Reynolds ended the night with two saves and shared the shutout with winning goalkeeper Crystal Wilcoxen (New Hudson, Mich./Franklin Road Christian) after Reynolds entered the game with just over sixteen minutes remaining. Mazurkiewicz had 10 saves for the Peregrines.
The Saints will return to action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. non-conference match at Trinity International (Ill.).