BOSTON, Mass.—In a rematch of the 2012 Little East Conference semifinals, Beacons head coach Amy Zombeck (Keene State '99) finally got the monkey off her back, as UMass Boston (6-0, 1-0) punished Keene State (1-5, 0-1) Saturday afternoon with a 5-0 victory at the Clark Athletic Field.
The Beacons who had never beaten Keene State coming into the game, earned their first ever victory against the Owls in their 17th try. UMass Boston also tied a program-record set in 2009 by winning their sixth-straight contest.
Four Beacons scored goals in the contest led by Amanda Pugliese (Pembroke, Mass.) who scored her first two goals in a UMass Boston uniform. The sophomore midfielder added two assists to finish her day with a career-high five points.
Sam Cristoforo (Rockland, Mass.) scored for the third straight game and knotted her second-straight game-winning goal for UMass Boston. She added a pair of assists to tie Krista Ledin (Bridgewater, Mass.) for the team-high with five. Ledin scored her ninth goal of the season in the win and Tayla Andrews (Plymouth, Mass.) finished off the scoring with a goal and an assist.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kristen Spain (Quincy, Mass.) earned her fifth straight victory to start her career and second shutout. Spain finished with six saves in the victory.
Keene State dominated the opening 15 minutes of play and had the Beacons back on their heels but Cristoforo changed the momentum in a hurry at the 23:47 mark. She found a loose ball in the box off a Pugliese corner kick and drove the ball through two defenders legs and into the corner of the net.
The rest of the half went back-and-forth with the Beacons gaining confidence as each minute passed; and for good reason, as UMass Boston dominated the second stanza.
Pugliese opened the scoring action in the second half when she took a pass from Cristoforo at the top of the box and drilled a high-shot under the crossbar just over a minute into the half.
Just over seven minutes later Ledin got on the board, when she received a terrific through pass from Andrews to break her loose from a defender. Ledin blew by the last defender and sent a low ball across the keeper's body into the far side of the net.
Andrews made it 4-0 in the 68th minute, when she took a pass from Pugliese and sent a left-footed shot past the keeper from 30 yards out. The scoring was closed out by Pugliese three minutes later; Pugliese forced a turnover just outside the box and sent another high strike past Victoria Crenson.
UMass Boston and Keene State finished with 14 shots apiece, while the Beacons held a 10-6 edge in shots on goal.
With the win, UMass Boston avenged their penalty kicks loss to Keene State from last year and opened up their Little East Conference season at 1-0.
The Beacons will finish off their three-game homestand on Tuesday when they host Fitchburg State in a non-conference matchup.