November 10, 2012

Ithaca College Downs UMass Boston 5-1 In NCAA Tournament

ITHACA, N.Y.—Despite a spirited second half, the #25 UMass Boston Beacons (18-3) couldn't slow down #6 Ithaca College (18-1-2), as the host Bombers took down the Beacons 5-1 Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Carp Wood Field.

The loss ends the Beacon's best season in program history, as UMass Boston finished 18-3 with program records for wins (18), conference wins (6) and goals scored (70). In addition to the statistical records-this year marked the Beacons first two championships (Little East Conference Regular Season and Conference Tournament Titles) and their first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. 

It also marked the final game for seniors Anna O'Donoghue (Swansea, Mass.), Meghan O'Connell (Abington, Mass.) and Brittney Spencer (West Brookfield, Mass.). The senior trio finishes their career with a program-record 60 wins. 

Julie Nutting (Rockland, Mass.) scored the Beacons lone goal off a terrific cross in the box from Krista Ledin (Bridgewater, Mass.). The Beacons goal was just the seventh goal Ithaca had allowed all season long.

Ledin's assist gave her a program-record 12 this season, as she finished the year with the program records for goals (26), assists and points (64).

For Nutting it was her second goal of the season, as she more than doubled her career points this year with 12 (two goals, eight assists).

For Ithaca College, senior Rachel Palladino continued to rewrite the Bombers record books as she finished with three goals and two assists. The senior forward broke the programs career record for goals (63) and career points (142) in the win.

Goalkeeper Kristen Spain (Quincy, Mass.) made eight saves, including several sprawling stops in the opening half, but couldn't stop the onslaught. The five goals Spain allowed were tied with their 5-4 overtime loss against Wheaton College for the most the Beacons had given up all season. 

Ithaca dominated the first half of the play and the final 10 minutes, owning a 30-9 shot advantage and 13-3 edge in corner kicks. 

Senior goalie Becca Salant made three saves in the win, improving to 18-1-1 on the year.

The Bombers got on the board just under 20 minutes into the game when Ellyn Grant-Keane scored her first goal of the season off of a strong pass from R. Palladino. Just over two minutes later, R. Palladino banged in a header off of a corner kick to make it 2-0 Ithaca.

UMass Boston finally started to get things on track midway through the first half when O'Connell and Nutting entered the game. Junior Tayla Andrews (Plymouth, Mass.) had the Beacons best chance of the stanza when she sent a low shot to the far post-but Salant made the diving stop.

After Ithaca made it 3-0 12 minute into the second half, UMass Boston got on to the board in the 65th minute. Ledin received a pass on the near side and dribbled by a defender and towards the end line; just before she reached the end line she sent a hard low cross to the back post where Nutting sent it home amidst two defenders.  

The Bombers would answer with a quick goal and added a final tally in the 83rd minute. 

Saturday's contest marked the Beacons first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, while Ithaca College made their Division III record 23rd appearance and 10th straight.