Wellesley Soccer Drops NEWMAC Opener to Smith, 2-1

First year Gabriella Nicolosi scored her first collegiate goal in the setback (Frank Poulin).
First year Gabriella Nicolosi scored her first collegiate goal in the setback (Frank Poulin).

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Smith College junior Peyton McBride (Manchester, N.H.) scored a pair of goals to lead the visiting Pioneers to a 2-1 win over Wellesley College soccer in the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both teams on Saturday at the Wellesley Fields Complex.

First year Gabriella Nicolosi (New York, N.Y.) scored her first collegiate goal in the setback for Wellesley. The Blue are now 3-4-0 (0-0-1 NEWMAC). Smith is 4-3-1 overall and 1-0-0 to begin conference play.

The Pioneers got on the board in the 23rd minute, when McBride potted her third of the season after senior Reilly Sullivan (Keene, N.H.) played her through to goal on the left side of the field. Smith finished the opening half with a 9-5 advantage in shots and a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard.

Wellesley found the equalizer just 3:03 after halftime, as a great individual effort from Nicolosi knotted the score at 1-1 when she powered home a shot from distance past Smith goalkeeper Noemi Howland (South Pasadena, Calif.). However, the tie was short lived for the Blue as McBride countered with her second of the day and fourth of the season just 1:22 later, finishing on a break set-up by senior Hannah Kelsey (Hopkinton, N.H.).

Howland made three second-half saves to earn the victory for the Pioneers. Sophomore starter Naomi Falkenberg (Sutton, Mass.) also turned back three shots in the first half for Smith. Wellesley senior Olivia Reckley (Grosse Ile, Mich.) made seven saves on nine shots in the setback for the Blue.

Wellesley outshot Smith, 13-5, after the break to finish with an 18-14 edge in shots, but the Pioneers finished the game with a 9-7 advantage in shots on target. Blue defender Liz Zhou (McLean, Va.) led all players with six shot attempts.

Both teams will head on the road and out of conference on Tuesday, September 24. Wellesley will travel to Brandeis for a 7:00 PM start and Smith will play at Western New England at 4:00 PM.