Chicopee, MA – The Sage Colleges' women's soccer team opened the 2013 season on Friday afternoon travelling to Elms College for a non-conference match. The contest marked the debut of Sage's Ashley Moore as the Gators' interim head coach. The Blazers (1-0-0) played a solid first half before erupting for three early goals in the second period of a 4-0 win over The Sage Colleges' Gators (0-1-0) in the season opener for both squads at the Timothy J. Leary Field on Elms' campus.
Neither team mustered much offense in the first thirty minutes of action, as both teams looked to feel out the other. However, in the 33rd minute, junior midfielder Gina DiGiovanni (Springfield, Mass.) fired a pass across the box that connected with sophomore forward Hannah Spring (Hadley, Mass.) who fired it near the left post and past junior goalkeeper Teagan Waddingham (Coeymans Hollow, N.Y./Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk) to give the Blazers a 1-0 lead.
At halftime, first year Head Coach Sean Milbier urged the Blazers to dominate the first ten minutes, and they did, as senior forward Victoria Cebula (Granby, Mass.) stole the ball off of a short goal kick and made a quick pass to sophomore midfielder Michelle Rossignor (Manchester, Conn.) who then burned a defender on her way to a left-side shot that hit the net in the 48th minute. In the 52nd minute, Rossignol then tallied again, striking home a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Melissa Welch (Westfield, Mass.) and finally, Rossignol led a pass up the left wing for junior midfielder Carmen Marino (Granby, Mass.) that she was able to cross to Cebula for a tap in on the right side of the cage in the 57th minute to close out the scoring.
Junior goalkeeper Erika Aponte (Palmer, Mass.) played the first 62:18 of the match, stopping all three shots on goal she faced in the win to move to 1-0-0 on the year; sophomore Alexa Rinaudo (Bellmore, N.Y.) played the final 27:42 in relief but neither faced a shot on goal nor earned any decision. Waddingham fell to 0-1-0 on the year despite stopping eight of the dozen shots on goal by the Blazers over the contest.
Sage returns to action on August 31 hosting the Cougars of the University of Minnesota Morris at 2:30 p.m. at the Siena College Turf Stadium.