CLAREMONT — The Stevens Cardinals finally suited up 11 players for Bri Frisbee’s senior night after grabbing wins with 10 players followed by nine players last week.
And the results were the same.
“This is a great feeling,” said Frisbee, the team’s lone senior, after having stepped off her home field with a win. “We have really bonded as a team this year. I really didn’t expect this.”
After a rocky 1-3 start, the Cardinals have found some magic as they are on a tear with their biggest rival in town wearing Newport black on Tuesday.
The Tigers came out as the aggressor with Taylor Fellows and Madox Lovely looking to grab a quick lead but left empty handed as Kirsten Martel rose to the challenge for Stevens with a kick-out save.
The first half was rather quiet until Izabela Eitapence hit the boards for a 1-0 Stevens lead into the break but the fuse had been lit.
“We have been a second-half team and tonight we started strong and had our chances,” said Newport head coach Kaitlynn Porter. “But we just couldn’t get one in. That would have been huge for us.”
Instead it was the fancy stick work of Frisbee that led to her goal as she carried from midfield and let one fly high into the cage to make it 2-0. That lead was gone in a flash when Katie Sharron goal made it 2-1 as the Tigers needed that goal to get them back in the game.
Newport defender Eden Ritondo was a thorn in the Cardinals offense all night but the lightning bolt from Spain named Sofia Aldecoa-Gallego gave Stevens some breathing room with an absolute rocket from 18 yards out for a 3-1 Cardinal lead.
“The game is so different here than it is in Spain — the crowds here are much bigger and louder and everyone here is so nice,” said the Cardinal exchange student. “I am very happy and lucky to be here.”
The Cardinals were feeling it as their offense kicked into high gear that brought a flurry of shots on the Newport net. Eitapence would pound in another score with a pile of players scurrying for position in the net area. Newport tried to grab a goal back but the midfield play of Frisbee and her fancy stick work was the difference.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” said Cardinal coach Pattyy Deschaine. “They are getting it done.”
Stevens stands at 8-3 while the Tigers slip to 4-9.
The Cardinals finish with a tough three games hosting a 8-1-2 Kearsarge team before hitting the road to play 9-3 Bishop Brady then to Conant.
Newport will host 9-3 Mascnic before playoff seeding are announced this weekend.