Women’s soccer advances to CAA championship in comeback thriller

Morgan+Nanni+during+UNCW%27s+practice.

Zachary Kilby

Morgan Nanni during UNCW’s practice.

Morgan Starling, Staff Writer

TOWSON, Maryland – UNCW women’s soccer (7-2-0) came roaring back to defeat the Northeastern Huskies (5-5-1) in a comeback thriller 3-2 in the CAA semifinals Thursday evening at Towson University’s Tiger Field.

The win sends the Seahawks to the CAA championship set to take place on Saturday.

Northeastern jumped ahead early with a goal by freshman midfielder/forward Gaby Scarlett after a cross from senior forward Katarina Nilsson outside the box in the 10th minute of the game. The Huskies put the fear in the Seahawks even further after Scarlett assisted senior forward Chelsea Domond in scoring from 15 meters out in the 19th minute.

Whatever pep talk Seahawk head coach Chris Neal gave his team at halftime seemed to be effective, as senior midfielder Audrey Harding scored off a rebound off of a save in the 49th minute to put the Seahawks on the board.

The rest of the half was all redshirt junior forward Morgan Nanni, who tied the game up in the 64th minute with a 25-meter blast inside the right post. Nanni put the Seahawks on top in the 70th minute with a penalty kick score, her sixth goal of the season, and what would ultimately become the winning goal.

The Seahawk defense held strong to secure the victory, with Northeastern finishing with 18 shots on goal to UNCW’s 16. Not to mention the game wasn’t all that clean, with the Huskies committing 13 fouls to UNCW’s 12. Northeastern senior defender Mikenna McManus received a yellow card in the 64th minute.

Seahawk freshman goalkeeper Blair Barefoot, who also received CAA honors as Goalkeeper and Rookie of the Year, recorded a season high eight saves, the most by a UNCW goalkeeper in the CAA tournament since 2013.

The Seahawks will look to take the CAA crown when they face Elon on Saturday, April 17 at 3 p.m.