Oct. 25, 2008
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Three different players scored goals to lead the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's soccer team's to a 3-0 victory over Plymouth State in a Little East Conference match at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex Saturday. With the victory, the Corsairs clinched a berth in the Little East Conference tournament for the first time since 2004.
Junior forward Karla Ellis (Wilmington, MA/Wilmington HS) scored the game's first goal at the 11:45 mark after taking a pass from senior forward Sarah Killingbeck (Norton, MA/Norton HS) in a two-on-one situation. It was Ellis' first goal of the year.
The following 54 minutes of the contest were played to a scoreless standstill. After that time had elapsed, the Corsairs took full command of the match by scoring two goals in 3:33.
Senior midfielder Jessica Swenson (Salem, MA/Salem High) scored on a sprint from the right side of the net at 66:11. Sophomore Allison Carver (Andover, MA/Andover HS) drew the assist. Swenson's goal brought about a palpable shift in the game's style of play. A game that had been tense and competitive for most of the afternoon was then transformed into one controlled by the Corsairs the rest of the way.
Killingbeck tacked on a backbreaking third goal by simply tapping the ball home into an empty net after the ball had been misplayed. The play was a microcosm of the game's final 25 minutes, which was rife with defensive miscues and played mostly in front of the Panther goal.
UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Carla DeSantis was pleased with the victory, which snapped a three game losing streak for the Corsairs. "We were able to come off a couple of tough losses in the last three games," DeSantis said. "It was great to score three goals in a pressure game."
DeSantis also pointed to a stifling defensive effort by defenders Kelsey Boothby (Holbrook, MA/Holbrook HS), Kaitlyn Duarte (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS), Nichole Hoffman (Stoughton, MA/Stoughton HS), and Michaela Blackham (Weymouth, MA/Weymouth HS). The Panthers mustered just five shots on the afternoon, only three of which had to be saved by sophomore goalkeeper Tanya Braga (Hudson, MA/Hudson High).
The shutout for Braga was her third of the season. "She made some key saves in the beginning of the game," DeSantis said of her goalkeeper. "It helps the team when she makes big saves."
The Corsair victory, coupled with UMass Boston's 4-1 defeat at the hands of Keene State moves the Corsairs into sole possession of fourth place in the Little East Conference at the conclusion of play Saturday. As a result, the Corsairs control their destiny for home field in the first round of the conference tournament; a victory next Saturday over Eastern Connecticut would guarantee a tournament home game.
UMass Dartmouth improved to 4-7-4 and 2-2-2 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while Plymouth State dropped to 5-6-4 and 1-4-1 with the defeat. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Worcester State next Tuesday evening. PSU will visit Fitchburg State Tuesday.