KEENE, N.H. -- The Keene State College women's soccer team scored five second half goals to lead the second-seeded Owls to a 5-0 victory over University of Massachusetts Dartmouth this evening at the Owl Athletic Complex.
Keene State will host fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut in the 2013 Little East Women's Soccer Championship. The Warriors upset top-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston, 1-0, this afternnon at the Clark Athletic Field. Keene State and Eastern Connecticut have met five times in the finals with the Warriors winning four times, including 2003 and 2011 when the match was decided on penalty kicks.
Under the watchful eye of Nicole Ross, the Corsairs posted their highest single-win total in 19 seasons with an overall record of 12-8-1. UMass Dartmouth also recorded the program's first conference tournament win in program history, defeating Southern Maine in the first-round, 2-1, on Tuesday afternoon.
KSC (16-4-1) had a chance to get on board in the opening minutes of play. Senior Kara Pavlidis (Lee, N.H.) broke in alone, but Corsair senior goalie Michelle Miller (Westford, Mass.) came out and robbed her, getting a foot on her shot.
UMD answered with a bid of its own a few minutes later. Junior Maura Gonsalves (Dartmouth, Mass.) sent the ball toward the net and Owl junior Torrie Crenson (North Salem, N.Y.) went up and tipped it over the crossbar.
Keene State finally broke through two minutes into the second half. Sophomore Jennifer Wilson (Plymouth, Mass.) tracked down the ball on the right side and fed a lead pass to senior Jessica Berthiaume (Worcester, Mass.). Berthiaume crossed the ball to Pavlidis, who didn't miss, putting the ball in the top corner of the net.
The Owls added to its lead at the 34:16 mark. Senior Kristen Huckins (Westmoreland, N.H.) sent a well-placed through to classmate Hayley Kenyon (Exeter, R.I.). After taking a couple of dribbles, Kenyon buried the ball into the corner to put the Owls up 2-0.
Keene State dodged a bullet with 30 minutes to go in the half. Crenson came out and appeared to handle short shot by UMD junior Shelby Friedland (New Bedford, Mass.), but the ball got loose. Friedland attempted another shot and Wilson got a foot of the ball to keep UMD off the board.
Keene State extended its lead four minutes later. Miller made the initial save, but Boscarino scored on the rebound for her seventh goal of the season to make it 3-0. Miller kept it a three goal game later in the half when she denied KSC freshman Brittany Tolla (Sandy Hook, Coon.) broke in alone.
After senior Jillian Van Ness (Agawam, Mass.) was taken down in the box, UMD was awarded a penalty kick. Senior Tori Pierce (Tiverton, R.I.) took the shot, but Crenson held her ground with a save.
Junior Alex Haley (Laconia, N.H.) and Tolla added insurance goals later in the half. Haley chipped the ball over Miller to make it 4-0 and Tolla scored on a breakaway.
Keene State outshot UMD 28-10 and had a 9-4 advantage in corners.
Miller finished the game with 11 saves for the Corsairs.