September 22, 2013

Bellin's lone goal gives Bears second place finish

Collin Boyles
UNCBears.com

BOULDER, Colo. -- Northern Colorado Soccer came out early Sunday to take down Stony Brook, the final match-up for the Bears at the Omni Hotels Colorado Wome's Soccer Classic. Ambree Bellin's goal in the 20th minute gave the Bears a 1-0 win over the Seawolves and a second place finish at Prentup Field in Boulder, Colo.

"We have experienced players that came out with a ton of energy," head coach Tim Barrera said. "It has been great to have the ability to compete in these close matches and stick them out."

UNC (4-3-2) was able to hold Stony Brook (5-3-1) in check in regards to scoring. The Seawolves averaged 2.43 goals per game coming into the match. Senior keeper Natalie D'Adamio held them to zero to total her fifth shutout of the season. She averaged 5.88 shots per match, but saved seven. The Seawolves leading goal scorer with five put up five shots on the day, four in which D'Adamio saved.

Northern Colorado finished second in the tournament while finishing 1-0-1. The Colorado Buffaloes finished first with a 2-0-0 record. Three Bears were named to the Omni Hotels Colorado Women's Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team including D'Adamio and midfielders Danielle Birdsall and Tara Rickenbach.

The Bears got an early jump on its shot total, taking two shots within the first five minutes. The Seawolves answered with two shots of its own, one falling wide and another being blocked by a defender. The shots from both teams continued until the Bears finally struck gold in the 20th minute.

Senior Ambree Bellin set up for a free kick and the result would be the game-changer for the Bears. She was able to convert the long kick with the help of some wind, for her first goal of the season to put the Bears on top, 1-0.

After both teams totaled eight shots within the first 20 minutes of action, they would only yield four the rest of the first half. Also coming before the end of the first half too was a yellow card handed to the Seawolves. Stony Brook's Priscilla Wiggins grabbed the card for the only one for either team on the day.

The Bears opened up the second half with five unanswered shots from four athletes. Bellin and junior Juliana Grover began the period with two shots on goal, both being saved by the Seawolves' Ashley Castanio, though. Senior Birdsall got in on the action in the 50th minute and the 63rd with two shots of her own. The first landed wide while the second was saved. Fellow senior Rickenbach put up the last of the unanswered shots from the Bears, which sailed high.

D'Adamio was able to show her skill after the 72nd minute when the Seawolves put up three shots in three minutes. D'Adamio saved all three shots, with another header shot going off the post.

As time was running out for the Seawolves in the second period, the team put up four shots with hopes to tie the match. Three of the four sailed high while the fourth was saved by D'Adamio. Essence Ortiz-Laneir kicked the last shot of the day, which finished as a 1-0 win for the Bears.

Northern Colorado held an edge in corner kicks 4-2 and saves 6-3. Stony Brook led in shots 15-12 and shots on goal 7-4. Both tied in fouls with nine.

"Having good results and the feeling of winning helps (us)," Barrera said. "When we go into conference play these types of results and getting our young players in are going to be a big momentum boost."

The Bears won three of the last five matches with the other two coming as ties. The team will carry the momentum into next weekend when it opens conference play at Portland State and Sacramento State.