September 3, 2014

Women's Soccer Earns 1-0 Victory Over Wesleyan In Home Opener

STORY BY KARL POSS

BOSTON, Mass.-Senior captain Krista Ledin (Bridgewater, Mass.) ensured UMass Boston women's soccer (1-0-1) got off to the right foot at home, as she scored the 82nd goal of her career in a 1-0 victory over Wesleyan University (0-1-0) Wednesday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Field.  

Ledin was able to pick up the first goal of her 2014 campaign, which proved to be the eventual game winner. The senior forward's first opportunity to score came just three minutes into the tilt after she chased down a long lead pass from Alexandria Levesque (Metheun, Mass.). Ledin fought through the Cardinals backs, and manufactured a sliding shot on the challenging Cardinals goaltender Jessica Tollman, which Tollman knocked just wide.

The game was all Beacons through the first 26 minutes of action, with the Beacons not allowing a single shot. The UMass back four, consisting of captain Brittany Castillo (Yarmouth, Mass.), Elisa Brooks (San Diego, Calif.), Sam Bendick (New Egypt, N.J.) and Levesque looked extremely sharp, keeping the Cardinals out of the box, and denying any chance of offensive success.

The Beacons were firing on all cylinders, picking apart the Cardinals with quick passes, and finding open space on the field, as they wore their opponents down. Offensively the Beacons were outstanding-rattling off five shots in the first frame of the game.

The Cardinals began to catch fire rallying five shots after the 26th minute. However, Kristen Spain (Quincy, Mass.) was able to track down all five shots she faced, including one shot on goal. The most impressive effort came in the 43rd minute when Jennifer Cascino displayed a torrent of speed into the box, but her shot to the far post trickled just inches wide. 

As the horn blew ending the first half of play, the game was deadlocked with the score 0-0.

The Cardinals were awarded a free kick in the 55th minute just inside of their attacking end. The ball soared toward the top of the box before UMass Boston freshman Marina Kelly (Whitman, Mass.) leaped above everyone, heading the ball back towards midfield. Amanda Pugliese (Pembroke, Mass.) sent the ball ahead to Ledin, creating a quick transition in the Beacons favor. She burned by the Cardinal defenders, and found herself one-on-one with Tollman.

Ledin entered the box with a full head of steam, as Tollman made an aggressive move challenging Ledin, and cutting down her shooting angle. At that instance, Ledin slid at the ball slipping it just under the diving arms of Tollman for her first goal of the season, and putting the Beacons up 1-0 at 56:06.

The Beacons back four were able to hold the Cardinals to just four shots in the second half, as UMass Boston closed out their first win of the year.

UMass Boston held an 11-9 edge in shots and a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal. The Beacons also carried a hefty 5-1 lead in corner kicks.

Spain picked up the 15 1/2 clean sheet of her UMass Boston career with the victory, as the senior has now opened the season with 155 scoreless minutes.
 
The Beacons will hope to continue their success Friday night as they will head to Schenectady, New York for the Union Women's Soccer Invitational. Friday night the Beacons will take on Wilkes University (Pa.) at 7 p.m.