Healthy start has Molloy in contention

by Nick Crispino 

   Just two years removed from being one win away from capturing the East Coast Conference Championship, Molloy College women's soccer team is in the mix with a 1-1 East Coast Conference record and is 1-5 overall. Their first win of the season came against against Daemen College in a 3-1 contest.

   The Lions took a huge hit in the injury department in 2012, losing key players such as junior Allison Sloper. Sloper led the Lions in scoring in 2011 with 12 goals and six assists. As of Sept. 27, Sloper leads Molloy in goals (2) and assists (2) while collecting a team-high 6 points in the early season. Forward newcomer's junior transfer Casey Nabb and freshman Danielle Valente have helped provide a spark to the Lady Lions offense. Nabb who transferred to Molloy was the Region XV Player of the Year out of Nassau Community College in 2012. Nabb has played aggressively, attempting 13 shots on the season, the most of any player. Valente has contributed as well, scoring a goal and starting in three games. Two-time East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week winner in 2012, midfielder Alicia Mercurio, led the team in points (11) last season. Mercurio's tied with Sloper in goals (2) and is only second to Sloper in points with 4 this season.

   The Lions defense includes juniors, Jacqui Valentine and Annette Mims, along with freshmans Gianne Jennosa and Gabrielle Batista. Senior Sami Saad is also in the mix on defense but can be a key player on the offense side for the Lions.  Saad started in all 15 games last season and tied Mercurio in goals (4) and was third on the season in points with 8.  The Lions shoulders may rest on goalie keeper, junior Nicole Dellaporta. Dellaporta posted a 1.95 goals-against average, a .750 save percentage, and stopped 63 shots in 11 starts in 2012. This season, Dellaporta has started every game, with 35 saves and having a .673 save percentage. In the Month of October, the Lady Lions have home games against East Coast Conference rivals, University of Bridgeport and New York Institute of Technology. 

   To see more photos from the Molloy Women's Soccer games visit  http://www.flickr.com/photos/molloylife/sets/72157635952029524/