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Western Connecticut Wins 7th Women's Soccer Championship

Western Connecticut Wins 7th Women's Soccer Championship

DANBURY, Conn. — The Western Connecticut State University won its ninth Little East Conference Women's Soccer Tournament title behind an outstanding performance from Tina Dias (Shelton, Conn.). The senior back was named Most Outstanding Player as she played flawless defense and assisted on her second-consecutive game-winning goal, this one coming in the Colonials' 1-0 victory over University of Massachusetts Boston at The WAC on Sunday afternoon. WestConn, which extends its shut out string to a school-record 13 consecutive games, earns an automatic berth into its ninth NCAA Division III Championships. All the pairing for the first round will be announced on Monday morning.

In 41st minute Dias, crossed another brilliant pass, from the left side, to Lauren Matthews (Monroe, Conn.) who quickly put a right foot on the ball and beat Beacons keeper Katie Coscia (Pittsfield, Mass.) high on her left-hand side. It was Matthews' team-leading 10th goal of the season.

Inside of five minutes the Beacons had their best chance of the afternoon when Kelli Neville (Milton, Mass.) was left alone on the right side of the box and delivered low lining shot. Caitlin Avery (East Hampton, Conn.) made a spectacular diving save to her right and gathered the ball to squash the threat.

Avery finished the day with two saves as the Colonials' defense allowed UMass Boston to attempt only four shots over 90 minutes. They out shot the Beacons, 24-4. It was Avery's eighth shut out of the season.

UMass Boston withstood high pressure for the WestConn offense all afternoon and fended off 12 corner kicks from the winners.

With 36 minutes remaining in the game, UMass Boston had its first quality opportunity to knot the score at 1-1 but Julienne McCuish (Mashpee, Mass.) attempt sailed over the top of the goal.

The Colonials have not allowed a goal since Williams College edged them out, 1-0 back on September 22. They have yielded just nine goals all season.

Coscia registered 10 saves for the Beacons which are now 13-5-4 and hope to garner a berth into the upcoming ECAC Tournament.

WestConn also captured the Little East Crown in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. In 2007, it advanced all the way to the NCAA Division III Final Four at ESPN's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This year's national championship finals will be at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas.