Oct. 17, 2011
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – With a free kick goal from Tamar Merheb the Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University (7-7, 4-1 LEC) were able get by women’s soccer (10-5, 3-2 LEC) by the final score of 2-1 in a Little East Conference showdown Monday evening at the ECSU Mansfield Turf Complex.
The meeting, was a rematch of last season’s LEC tournament semi-final in which the Beacons upset the Warriors 3-1 in penalty kicks to earn their first-ever tournament championship appearance.
Monday’s match mirrored last year’s tournament game as the two teams battled for all 90 minutes. Despite an early goal by Eastern Connecticut, the first 45 minutes of play was a stalemate, with both teams earning just four shots in the opening half. Breaking the 0-0 draw for the Warriors was Kelly Wallace, her fourth of the season.
After the break, the Beacons completely dominated play firing shot after shot at the Eastern Connecticut defense. It took the Beacons less than five minutes to get on the scoreboard, as senior Kirstin Mulry (Holbrooke, MA) got around a defender and dribbled the ball for about 10 yards, before crushing a shot to the near post to tie the game at 1-1. The goal was Mulry’s eighth of the year.
Now with the score even at 1-1, the Beacons continued to pound the Warriors defensive third, with chances coming from all over the pitch. Unfortunately, Eastern Connecticut was able to take advantage of foul from about 10 yards outside the Beacons goal box. Merheb, stepped up to the ball and hit a laser of a shot that beat UMass goalkeeper Dan Perkins (Murietta, CA) to upper near post.
On the day, UMass held a 9-8 advantage in shots and a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. Perkins notched one save in each half, while her Eastern Connecticut counterpart Mackenzie MacLeod recorded four stops, three of which came in the second half.
Women’s Soccer returns to action tomorrow afternoon when they host Massachusetts Maritime Academy at 3:30 p.m. in a non-conference match.