The Flyers women’s soccer team (picture from March 27) cruised past the Bonnies in a 5-1 win. Photo courtesy of Christian Cubacub, Flyer News.
An outburst of goals propelled the University of Dayton women’s soccer team to a 5-1 win over St. Bonaventure Thursday night at Baujan Field.
The Flyers jumped out to a quick advantage over the Bonnies, as sophomore midfielder Marlee Taylor got to a loose ball from a Bonnies defender in the third minute. She spun and fired a long shot from well outside the box that sailed into the top right corner.
“Honestly, I kind of black out,” Taylor joked. “But I think I just kind of stole (the ball), and a left-footed shot, which felt really good. Top corner.”
Flyers head coach Eric Golz said the shot was atypical for Taylor.
“Marlee hit the first (shot) from distance, and it’s a shot that she doesn’t typically take. So I’m proud of her just for having the bravery and courage to take that in the moment because it presented itself and was a fantastic goal.”
Golz also credited Taylor, who finished with 2 assists to go with the early goal, for her vision and awareness.
“Her confidence on the ball has always been her special quality. And now, she’s playing a little bit more in rhythm, a little bit higher tempo, and playing with a lot of confidence. And I think her qualities have shown.”
Taylor added that it’s “easy to assist people who are scoring.”
The first assist for Taylor came in the 13th minute. On a cross towards senior winger Kara Camarco, the ball took a slight deflection but still found Camarco, who fired a shot into the top right corner of the net to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.
But before Taylor’s next assist, the Flyers would grab a third goal courtesy of a missed Bonnies clearance and a clean finish by freshman winger Elle Lovdal.
Then, against the run of play, the Bonnies scored on a free kick by freshman forward Amber Achladis. The free kick sailed over everyone, but not over the crossbar, and found the back of the net to cut the Flyers lead to 3-1 in the 43rd minute.
The Flyers were in firm control of every aspect of the game until the free kick with less than 90 seconds left in the first half. Leading shots on goal (6-1) and corner kicks (4-1) distinctly, the Flyers went into the second half in a good position.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, Taylor was found with a pass in the middle of the field by senior midfielder Emma Thomas. Taylor turned a passed a through ball to freshman forward Itala Gemelli, who sidestepped a pair of Bonnies defenders and passed the ball past the goalkeeper for the Flyers’ fourth goal of the game.
In the 59th minute, Thomas had a chance to score, as she toe-poked a ball toward the net from less than a yard out. On replay angles from ESPN+, the ball appeared to narrowly cross the line, but an excellent clearance effort was upheld, and the score held at 4-1.
Just six minutes later, Gemelli would find the net again. A long through pass from sophomore defender Audrey Steiert found Gemelli, who fired a missile from the left corner of the penalty box and across the ball to the top right corner. With her eighth goal of the season, Gemelli put the game beyond any reasonable doubt. The Flyers were able to empty the bench, as every active player came into the game.
“We have a very good team,” Golz said. “We have a great group of women who work incredibly hard every single day. And they have worked incredibly hard to help make everyone on our team better, and they deserve to get on the field tonight. And I thought they did a great job tonight of taking advantage of some of those opportunities and bringing great energy and quality as well.”
Taylor said, “It was a really great performance by our whole team,” and added it was “really great to see” everyone get into the game.
“Scoring goals is great, especially at home.”
The Flyers will have one more certain opportunity to score goals at home, as they take on St. Bonaventure again on Sunday at 2 p.m. Winning the March 21 game at St. Bonaventure 3-0, the Flyers head into their third match-up with a dominant 8-1 advantage.
The Flyers will then close the regular season with two games against Saint Louis next Thursday and Sunday (April 11), likely with the Atlantic 10 West Division (and possibly hosting the A-10 championship) on the line. The Flyers are now 6-3-1 overall and 3-1-1 in A-10 play, with the only loss coming to the Billikens in double overtime (3-2) on March 18.