NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Each of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's soccer tri-captains scored a goal Saturday afternoon to lead the Corsairs to a 3-0 victory over Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference match at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex.
The Corsairs, 4-7-4 overall and 2-2-2 in the Little East, clinched a berth in the LEC Tournament for the first time since 2004. PSU, 5-6-4 overall and 1-4-1 in the conference, remains alive in the hunt for an LEC post-season berth despite the setback.
Junior Karla Ellis (Wilmington, Mass.) scored the game's first goal at the 11:45 mark after taking a pass from senior Sarah Killingbeck (Norton, Mass.) 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 less than four minutes. Senior Jessica Swenson (Salem, Mass.) scored on a sprint from the right side of the net at 66:11, and Killingbeck tacked on a backbreaking third goal by simply tapping the ball home into an empty net after a misplay at 69:44.
UMD had a stifling defensive effort by defenders Kelsey Boothby (Holbrook, Mass.), Kaitlyn Duarte (New Bedford, Mass.), Nichole Hoffman (Stoughton, Mass.), and Michaela Blackham (Weymouth, Mass.). The Panthers mustered just five shots on the afternoon, only three of which had to be saved by sophomore goalkeeper Tanya Braga (Hudson, Mass.) for her third shutout of the season.
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. 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.
The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Worcester State next Tuesday evening. PSU will visit Fitchburg State Tuesday for a 7:00 p.m. non-conference contest., and wraps up the regular season next Saturday with a key LEC match at UMass Boston.
(Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information)
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