DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Junior Ella Rath (Pawcatuck, Conn.) netted a pair of first half goals as UMass Dartmouth clinched a berth in the upcoming Little East Conference women’s soccer championships with a 2-1 triumph over league-leading Western Connecticut Saturday evening at Cressy Field.
Rath staked the host Corsairs (6-6-5, 3-2-3 LEC) to the early lead when she converted a feed from freshman Sarah Vieira (Dartmouth, Mass.) in the 13th minute of play, and her team-best ninth tally of the season exactly less than four minutes later extended that margin to 2-0 and proved to be the game-winner for UMass Dartmouth. The visiting Colonials (11-7, 5-2 LEC) sliced their deficit in half with 4:06 remaining in the match after senior Allison Oakley (Beekman, N.Y.) scored on a pass from junior Jasmine Grey (Naugatuck, Conn.), and Western Connecticut had a chance to even matters in the closing seconds but was thwarted on a point blank stop from Corsair sophomore keeper Jaimee O’Brien (West Springfield, Mass.) off a corner kick to end the contest.
O’Brien earned her fifth victory of the fall with a seven-save effort in net for UMass Dartmouth, while freshman Karly Martin (Bristol, Conn.) made five stops in suffering her first setback of the year in goal for Western Connecticut. The Colonials outshot the Corsairs by a 16-8 margin overall (8-7 on goal) while taking six of seven corner kicks on the evening, as the hosts are guaranteed to finish in either fifth or sixth place in the final Little East standings and earn a spot in the league tournament that begins on October 30th.
UMass Dartmouth heads to Westfield, Mass. on Tuesday evening to take on Westfield State in a non-league outing beginning at 7:00 pm, while Western Connecticut travels to Hoboken, N.J. on Tuesday evening for a non-league encounter with Stevens that begins at 6:00 pm.
(Photo Credit: Rainier Almonte '20)