A flurry of activity during a three-minute span late in the women’s soccer team’s matchup against Fordham solidified a Tiger victory in the Bronx on Tuesday night. Freshman forward Tyler Lussi scored two goals only three minutes and three seconds apart, blowing open a tightly-fought contest and lifting Princeton to a 3-0 lead by the 78th minute. Lussi’s two goals, the first unassisted and the second scored on a pass from junior midfielder Lauren Lazo, provided a solid cushion for the Tigers, allowing the team to win despite giving up a late goal with only a few minutes remaining on the clock. Senior midfielder Erika Hugland also scored for Princeton, earning her first goal of the season in the 30th minute of the game.
With the victory, Princeton (4-1-2 overall) capped off a strong early-season showing against non-league competition. The Tigers have lost only one matchup this season, falling to Rutgers (7-1-1) 5-1 on Sept. 15. Besides that game, Princeton has not lost this season and has allowed only two goals on the year. The Tigers outscored their opponents 10-2 in those games, including four shutouts.
Fordham (2-5-2) entered the matchup on a streak of solid soccer. Since losing three consecutive games to open the season, the Rams have lost only once, falling to Dartmouth 4-0 earlier in September. Since losing to Rutgers 3-0 on Sept. 1, Fordham was 2-1-2, including shutout victories over Iona and Vermont.
But Fordham’s defense could not stymie Princeton’s strong offense, which has been reenergized this season with the emergence of Lussi as a valuable offensive weapon. Lussi’s goals were her fifth and sixth of the season, a total that leads the team by a margin of three goals. Lussi, a freshman from Lutherville, Md., also leads the team with 23 shots this season. She is averaging almost one goal per game and has converted on over one quarter of her shots.
The Tigers will now focus their attention on the beginning of Ivy League competition, which kicks off for Princeton this Saturday, Sept. 28, when the squad will take on Yale in an important home matchup. The game will be played just over a year since the last time the Tigers faced the Bulldogs, in New Haven last September. In that game, which was also Princeton’s Ivy League opener, the Tigers defeated Yale 2-1 in overtime. A defensive miscommunication resulted in a Yale defender heading then-sophomore forward Liana Cornacchio’s long throw-in into her own net.
This season Yale (4-3) comes into Roberts Stadium on a two-game losing streak. Despite opening the season 4-1, the Bulldogs have since lost close matches against Sacred Heart and Fairfield. Yale lost both games by one goal, falling 2-1 to Sacred Heart on Friday and 1-0 to Fairfield on Sunday. The Bulldogs also lost to Georgetown by a notable 8-0 score earlier in September.