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Niagara women’s soccer returns for pair of Western New York contests


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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Coming off two matches on the road in Florida last weekend, the Niagara Purple Eagles return to Western New York for a pair of contests this week. Niagara returns to Niagara Field to battle Saint Francis (PA) on Thursday before traveling to face Big 4 foe St. Bonaventure on Sunday.
Scene Setter

  • Niagara fell on Aug. 31 in Boca Raton to Florida Gulf Coast, 3-0, before dropping a close contest in Fort Myers to Florida Atlantic, 3-2.
  • The Purple Eagles are looking to earn their first three-game winning streak at Niagara Field since Oct. 12-26, 2016, earning victories against Saint Peter's, Fairfield and Marist. Niagara previously earned victories against Cleveland State and Robert Morris on Aug. 23 and Aug. 26, respectively.
  • Dating back to 1998, the program has never featured a team that has won three straight games to open the home schedule. A victory over the Red Flash on Thursday night accomplishes that feat for the first time in over two decades. The 1999 and 2010 teams each started 2-0-1 through their first three home contests.  
On the Field: Niagara Purple Eagles (2-3-0, 0-0-0 MAAC)

  • Niagara leads the conference in shots per game (15.0) and is tied with Fairfield for the conference lead in points per game (4.4) and goals per game (1.6)
  • In Niagara's match against Florida Atlantic, Hailey Bicknell and Kelsey Araujo recorded goals while Shania van Nuland recorded three saves between the posts.
  • Bicknell's goal marked her second of the short season, tying her with fellow teammate Annie Ibey for the team lead. Bicknell's four points this season are currently tied with Veda Hensel for the second most on the team, trailing only Ibey (six points).
  • Araujo currently is second across the MAAC in shots this season with 17. Through five games, she currently has three points for Niagara (one goal, one assist).
Across The Pitch
Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash (2-2-2, 0-0-0 NEC)

  • Last season the Red Flash won the NEC Conference Championship, advancing to the NCAA Tournament before falling to #12 Virginia to end their season, 2-0.
  • Saint Francis shut out Binghamton at home on Aug. 31, 3-0, before playing to a 0-0 draw against Bucknell on Sept. 2.
  • Junior forward Alyssa McGhee leads the team and conference in shots (21) and leads the team in points with seven (two goals, three assists).
  • The Purple Eagles lead the all-time series over the Red Flash, 8-3-0. Niagara also was victorious in the last matchup on Sept. 14, 2012, earning a 2-0 victory as part of the NU Fall Classic.
Across The Pitch
St. Bonaventure Bonnies (0-2-4, 0-0-0 Atlantic 10)

  • The Bonnies have played to a draw in each of their last three matches, a 3-3 tilt at UMass Lowell on Aug. 26, a 0-0 affair against Youngstown State on Aug. 31 and a 2-2 matchup against Canisius on Sept. 2.
  • Junior forward Sydney Cerza leads the team in points with six (two goals, two assists), while senior midfielders Gretta LaCouture and Sabrina Sousa-Sampson each have four points (two goals, two assists).
  • The Bonnies lead the all-time series, 10-20-1, with the Purple Eagles earning a 2-0 victory in the most recent matchup at Niagara Field on Aug. 25, 2017.

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