Keene State Advances To Little East Women's Soccer Semifinal
KEENE, N.H. – The fourth seeded Keene
State College women's soccer team scored two first half goals and
held on for a 2-1 victory over fifth-seeded UMass-Dartmouth in a
Little East Conference quarterfinal game played at Owl
Athletic Complex on Wednesday night.
Advancing to the semifinals, Keene State (12-8-1) will travel to UMass-Boston on Saturday (12 p.m.) to take on the top seeded Beacons. Looking to advance the semifinals for the first time in eight tries, UMass-Dartmouth drops to 11-5-2.
The Corsairs had several opportunities to score in the opening minutes of the game. Owl junior sweeper Kelsie Bailey (Barre, Vt.) spent the half chasing down UMD forwards, including senior Jillian Van Ness (Agawam, Mass.), who temporarily got behind the KSC defense. "We were able to shut them down early and contain them," said Bailey.
An opportunistic Keene State offense took advantage of a couple of breakdowns in the Corsairs end of the field to score both of its goals. Junior goalie Krista Chauvin (Seekonk, Mass.) mishandled a centering pass, enabling junior Kara Pavlidis (Lee, N.H.) to knock the ball into an open net to give KSC a 1-0 lead at the 32:50 mark. I was shocked," said Pavlidis, who scored her fifth goal of the season. "We were told to pressure their defense and their keeper. They had a miscommunication and I just happen to be there."
The goal switched momentum to the Owls, who scored their second goal with 12:28 to play in the half. Kicked by the UMD goalie minutes earlier after a collision, junior Beverley Cole (Madbury, N.H.) got control of an errant ball and drove it into the far corner of the net for her fourth goal of the season. "Once I got the ball I wanted revenge and show her where here to play," said Cole.
The Corsairs took the play to the Owls in the early minutes of the second half. A hard drive by junior Sam Silvia (Dighton, Mass.) was tipped over the cross bar by KSC sophomore goalie Torrie Crenson (North Salem, N.Y.). Less than a minute later, senior Vanessa Demelo (Fall River, Mass.) hit the post with a shot following a corner.
UMD finally get on the board with 4:22 to play when Van Ness beat a KSC back and tucked the ball just inside the far post to make it a 2-1 game. Looking for the tying goal in the closing seconds, sophomore Shelby Friedland (New Bedford, Mass.) came charging in from the left side but Crenson beat her to the ball as time expired. "We lost a little bit of focus in the second half, but overall it was a good win," said KSC Coach Denise Lyons. "We're looking forward to playing UMass-Boston again."
Keene State outshot the Corsairs 18-10 while UMD had a 10-6 advantage in corners. Crenson finished the game with two saves. Chauvin stopped seven shots for UMD.
Keene State, which won its two LEC titles in 2002 and 2004, lost to the Beacons 5-0 earlier in the season.