Second-Half Spark Leads #1 Women's Soccer Back To LEC Finals

Second-Half Spark Leads #1 Women's Soccer Back To LEC Finals

BOSTON, Mass.—Top-seeded UMass Boston women's soccer scored two goals in a 15-minute span of the second half, to advance to the program's fifth Little East Conference Championship Game on Saturday afternoon. 

THE BASICS

#1 UMass Boston 2, #4 Eastern Connecticut State University 0

(UMass Boston 18-2-1) 
(Eastern Connecticut State 7-12) 

HOW IT HAPPENED

Sophomores Mary Jo Murphy (Worcester, Mass.) and Grace McGettrick (Marshfield, Mass.) each scored in the second half to lead the Beacons past the Warriors. 

With the win, #1 UMass Boston will host #2 Western Connecticut State University on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the LEC Championship Game. Last season, the top-seeded Colonials defeated third-seeded Beacons 2-0 in the LEC Finals. 

Sophomore Allie Crawford (Kingston, Mass.) added two assists in the win, while Jahlyla Ocampo (Braintree, Mass.) recorded her first assist and point of the season. 

In net, freshman Maria Spylios (Leominster, Mass.) made three saves in her first collegiate postseason contest. 

Eastern junior goalie Alexis Tyrrell made 10 saves on 12 shots in the loss. 

UMass Boston came out firing in the first half but were stymied time and time again by the softball player turned Eastern keeper. 

Murphy had one of the Beacons best looks, when her right-footed shot from in tight went off Tyrrell's hands and just over the bar. Crawford added a great look from distance that forced the goalie to dive to her right and push the ball away. 

Despite not getting much of the ball in the first half, Eastern created their best chances. The Warriors looked dangerous on free kicks and Haley Montesanto had the Warriors best look, when she lofted a shot from inside the box over the bar in the 38th minute. 

In the second half, UMass Boston upped their pressure and denied the Warriors any scoring chances. 

Less than 15 minutes into the half, head coach Amy Zombeck moved Murphy from left back to center forward and changed the game in the process.

Murphy gave the Beacons the lead at 61:04. Crawford won a battle in the Beacons half and then sent a terrific through ball to Murphy from inside the Beacons half. Murphy raced on to the end of the pass just outside the 18, took one dribble and then lofted a tight-angled, left-footed shot over Tyrrell's head and in. 

The Beacons added a key insurance goal at 75:08. Crawford found Ocampo at the edge of the 18-yard box and Ocampo cut back past a defender and fired a shot towards goal, which McGettrick redirected from in tight with her right-foot. 

From there, UMass Boston locked down the Warriors and saw the game out. 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • UMass Boston outshot the Warriors 19-7 and held a 12-3 edge in shots on goal. The Beacons also led 6-1 in corner kicks. 
  • With the win, UMass Boston tied the program record for wins in a single-season. The Beacons 18 wins matches the 2012 team (18-3-0), that won the only LEC Tournament Title in program history. 
  • Spylios tied the program record for shutouts in a single-season with her 10th clean sheet. Dani Perkins ('14) also posted 10 shutouts as a freshman (2011). 
  • UMass Boston has now won three-straight games against the Warriors for the first time in program history. The Beacons are 3-3-1 all-time against Western in the LEC Tournament (all in the LEC Semifinals). 
  • The Beacons are heading to back-to-back LEC Championship Games for the first time in program history. UMass Boston will be making their fifth all-time appearance (1-2-1). 
  • Crawford's two assists gives her 12 for the season. Her 12 assists are tied for second in program history for a single-season, behind only her 14 assists as a freshman. 
  • With the win, UMass Boston has now won 14 straight-home games. Their streak is the third longest home winning streak in Division III. 
  • Thursday night's shutout gives UMass Boston 12 shutouts on the season. The clean sheet ties the 2011 team for the most shutouts in a single-year. 

WHO'S NEXT 

#1 UMass Boston will host #2 Western Connecticut State on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the LEC Championship Game. The Beacons and Colonials have met in the LEC Finals three times before, with the home team winning all three times (WCSU 2-1).