BOSTON, Mass. – With her fifth hat-trick of the season, freshman forward and 2011 Little East Conference Rookie of the Year Krista Ledin (Bridgewater, Mass.) carried women's soccer (14-6-2) to a 3-1 win over Endicott College (12-9-0) Wednesday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the ECAC New England Tournament.
With those three goals, Ledin broke the program record for goals in a single-season. The Bridgewater native now stands at 23 goals this season, breaking the original record of 20 set by Shannon Murphy in 1997. Her now 50 points on the year is also a single-season program record as well.
For the Beacons the win advances them into the semi-final round of the ECAC tournament for the second straight year. Last season, it was Endicott who defeated UMass in the semi-finals by the final score of 3-0.
Ledin got her afternoon started in the 11th minute, when she caught up to a long pass from senior Kristin Mulry (Holbrook, Mass.), which she then tapped around Endicott goalkeeper Natalie Wyrsch and into the near post corner to make it 1-0 in favor of the Beacons.
From there the first half would turn into a stalemate, with both teams spending most of the half battling it out in the middle third of the field. Endicott went on to lead the first 45 minutes of plays in shots with five, while UMass was only able to get off just two shots.
After the break, the stalemate continued for the 22 minutes of play. It was not until Ledin picked-up another long pass, this time from Tayla Andrews (Plymouth, Mass.), that she was able to give UMass some room on the scoreboard. Andrews won the ball deep in the UMass defensive third, and sent a rocket of a clear up to Ledin, who took off the second the ball crossed half-field. Just like her first goal of the day, Ledin broke through the defense and beat the goalkeeper to the near post.
Down but not out, Endicott showed the match was far from over just moments later as Hannah Schneidenbach headed home her first goal of the year off of a Clare Mansfield corner kick. Schneidenbach crashed the goal at the exact moment that Mansfield blasted the ball in. She then drove the ball to the near post to make it just a one-goal game, with plenty of time left on the clock.
The score would remain 2-1 in favor of UMass for another nine minutes. Ledin would seal the victory for UMass in the 74th, when she crushed the ball to the far post from about 15 yards out. After dribbling the ball into the box, Ledin tried to get by a Endicott defender, but was stopped on her first attempt, with the ball loose in the box, the forward swung her leg back and put everything she had into it. The ball flew off of Ledin's foot and over the goalkeepers head to the far top corner to make it a two game for the second time. This time that lead would stand, as UMass managed to keep hold off the Gulls and earn the victory.
On the day, Endicott led the match in shots, 10-5, while UMass held a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Goalkeeper Dani Perkins (Murietta, Calif.) tallied just one save to her 13th win of the year. Wyrsch managed three saves for the Gulls.
The Beacons will now face the winner of the #1 Worcester State University and #8 University of New England match on Saturday. If Worcester is victorious, they will host both the semi-finals and championship. Start time and location will be determined later this evening, once all quarterfinal matches have been played.