DANBURY, Conn.—Sophomore Lindsay Bouscaren's (Cambridge, Mass.) goal 10 minutes after halftime provided all the offense #3 UMass Boston women's soccer would need, as the Beacons earned their first trip to the Little East Conference Championship Game since 2014.
#3 UMass Boston 1, #2 Eastern Connecticut State U. 0
(UMass Boston 14-6-1)
(Eastern Connecticut State 11-7)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a scoreless first half, Bouscaren scored the lone goal of the game 9:22 into the second stanza.
The Beacons had a long string of possession, as they tried to break down the potent Warriors back line. Freshman Grace McGettrick (Marshfield, Mass.) fought to win back the ball twice and then the Beacons' opened the Warriors up with freshmen Allie Crawford (Kingston, Mass.), Cal Pitts (Marshfield, Mass.) and Morgan Palma (Halifax, Mass.) pinging the ball around.
In the end, Crawford tried to thread a pass for Bouscaren but had it knocked back at her on a high attempted clearance. Crawford won a foot-race with two defenders and headed the ball past the final defender on a bounce to a wide open Bouscaren. With the keeper rushing out to close off her shooting lane, Bouscaren ripped a line drive shot over the keeper from the top of the six-yard box to give the Beacons the lead.
Eastern was able to muster just three shots on goal the rest of the way, as freshman Caroline Richards (Duxbury, Mass.) notched her second-straight playoff shutout.
The freshman's toughest stop came in the first stanza when Anna Manser drove into the box and her shot deflected off freshman back Kenya Wade (Cambridge, Mass.). The ball deflected towards the near post but Richards easily corralled it while still on the turf.
In the second half, all of Eastern's shots on target came from well outside the 18-yard box, as the Beacons defense stepped in front of several of the Warriors best looks.
Palma and fellow freshman Jahlyla Ocampo (Braintree, Mass.) both had chances to put the game out of reach late.
Palma picked up the ball well outside the box and drove to the top of the box, before ripping a shot towards the far post that Eastern goalie Kayla Labrecque parried over the goal line at 77:44.
Just under five minutes later, Crawford sent a cross into the box that Ocampo settled, but her low line drive shot was stopped by the diving Eastern keeper.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot the Warriors 11-0 and earned a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. The Beacons also held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
- The Beacons avenged a 4-3 regular season loss to the Warrriors with the victory. Eastern leads the all-time series 24-4-2, but the Beacons are 2-3-1 all-time against the Warriors in postseason play.
- With the win, UMass Boston will play #1 Western Connecticut State University in the LEC Championship Game. The Beacons defeated Western 1-0 in the 2012 LEC Title Game for their only LEC Tournament Title.
- Richards has now posted a shutout in four of her first seven collegiate starts.
#3 UMass Boston and #1 Western Connecticut State will play on Saturday at Noon at Western's Westside Athletic Complex.