Women's Soccer Blanks Curry, 1-0

Women's Soccer Blanks Curry, 1-0

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's soccer team opened their 2012 campaign with a 1-0 victory Saturday over Curry at Cressy Field.

The Corsairs controlled the tempo early, but were unable to capitalize on any of their scoring chances as Colonels senior keeper Samantha Hardy (Pepperell, MA/North Middlesex HS) made three diving saves. Sophomore forward Maura Gonsalves (Dartmouth, MA/Dartmouth) fired in two shots from just outside the box early in the first half, but Hardy turned each of them away.

Curry pressed UMass Dartmouth late in the opening half, looking to steal momentum away and a goal when senior forward Kelly Howe (Walton, NE/Lincoln East HS) stole a pass and went on a run. Howe walked in on goal firing a shot that missed the net as the teams went to the break in a scoreless tie.

After a scoreless first half UMass Dartmouth broke through just one minute and 18 seconds into the second stanza when junior forward Jordan Lipner-Riza (Worcester, MA/Burncoat HS/New Haven) poked the ball past the sprawling keeper from just outside the penalty area. Lipner-Riza converted the pass from senior forward Jillian Van Ness (Agawam, MA/Agawam) after a Colonel turnover for her first goal as a member of the Corsairs

Lipner-Riza was one of many first year players in the system that stepped up on the team's home-opener.

"We put a lot of work in during the off season and it showed," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Hanewich. "We had new players and returners step up for us today. Fatigue was a factor because of the heat, but we played with confidence, despite not scoring in the first half."

The Corsairs outshot the Colonels, 22-9. Junior Krista Chauvin (Seekonk, MA/Seekonk) made six saves for UMD, while Hardy made 11 for Curry. The victory was the second straight over the Colonels for the Corsairs.

UMass Dartmouth improved to 1-0 with the victory, while Curry fell to 0-1 with the defeat. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Salve Regina Wednesday.  The Colonels will visit Salem State Thursday.