Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. – Bentley had the advantage in shots and possession, but came out on the short end of a 1-0 decision to Molloy in the first round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship on Friday.
The Falcons, the No. 6 seed in the East Region who were making the first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, outshot the Lions 15-8 and had more possession on the afternoon. However, Molloy scored the game's only goal from midfielder Eleni Sofroniou in the 69th minute and that was the difference.
In the first half Bentley had nearly 67 percent possession and an 8-2 advantage in shots but could not find a goal. In the opening minutes, senior Stephanie Helin (Manchester, Conn./East Catholic) shot just wide and in the 24th minute a good effort by sophomore Emily McGrath (Brewster, Mass./Nauset) from distance was saved by Molloy keeper Jackie Carty.
Just before halftime in the 45th minute, Falcons keeper Kat Hassapis (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) kept the game scoreless when she made a diving save to deny Molloy's Lauren Marinello, and the ball bounced off the left post and stayed out.
Four minutes into the 2nd half, Molloy nearly got the game's first goal with a shot in the penalty area from Meaghan O'Callaghan, but a great defensive effort by Bentley's Maeli Cherry (Westford, Mass./Westford) to clear the ball off the line prevented the goal.
The Lions though did get the opening goal in the 69th minute when Sofroniou jumped on a loose ball that had been bouncing around near the six yard box, and got off a low shot to the far post for the goal.
Bentley pressed on for the equalizer over the final 21 minutes, but Molloy was able to neutralize the attacks and when in possession played a number of balls into the corners to drain the clock.
One of Bentley's best chances of the half came in the final seconds from senior Sammy Millmann (Northport, N.Y./Northport), who got a long distance shot off before the buzzer, and only a save by Carty to tip the ball over the crossbar prevented the goal.
Molloy, the No. 3 seed in the East Region, will face either the No. 2 seed Mercy or the No. 7 seed SNHU on Sunday.
Bentley's season comes to a close at 10-8-2, after they suffered just the second defeat in the final 10 games of the season.