By Greg Estabrooks, Staff Writer
This past Saturday, UMass Dartmouth women’s soccer took to the road and faced off against fellow Little East Conference competitor Eastern Connecticut. Coming into the contest, the Corsairs held a 3-4-1 record, while the Warriors were 5-1.
Senior midfielder Aly Clarke, who finished the game with 2 goals and an assist, put the Eastern Connecticut Warriors ahead at the 10:30 mark by scoring an unassisted goal from 25 yards out that went off the top crossbar and into the net.
Then just 7 minutes later, the Warriors jumped to a 2-0 lead when senior Anna Manser was able to beat UMass Dartmouth sophomore goalkeeper Jaimee O’Brien on a through ball from Aly Clarke that was assisted by forward Abbey Fitzsimmons. O’Brien has been called on to do a lot this year, as she has made at least at least 8 saves in each of her last 5 contests in net.
Just before the halftime whistle, UMass Dartmouth was able to get one back when senior forward Taryn Carley, assisted by junior Ella Rath and freshman Nerida Montrond, buried one in the upper portion of the net from 22 yards out off a strong left foot. The goal was Carley’s first of the season.
After halftime, at about the 58-minute mark, freshman forward Haley Montesanto won a 50-50 ball for the Warriors at midfield and immediately fired it over to junior Stephanie Sanchez, who was able to split a pair of Corsair defenders and punch it into the back of the visitor’s net.
Finally, as time was winding down, Aly Clarke of the Warriors capped off her well-played game with another unassisted goal off of a free kick.
This made the score 4-1 in favor of Eastern Connecticut, and this is where the final tally would stand as time expired in the contest.
UMass Dartmouth finished with 10 shots, 7 of them on goal, while Eastern Connecticut finished with 16, 12 of those on goal. Ella Rath of the Corsairs led all players in the game with 4 shots, 3 of them on goal.
With the loss, UMass Dartmouth women’s soccer falls to 3-5-1 on the season and 1-1 in conference play, while Eastern Connecticut improves to 6-2 and a perfect 2-0 in the conference.
The Corsairs are at about the midway point in their season now with 9 games under their belt and 10 games still to come. The team is well positioned to improve on their 4-16-1 record from a year ago.
Ella Rath and freshman Kaitlyn Bernier lead the team in scoring so far with 2 goals apiece, while Nerida Montrond leads the team in assists with a pair.
Goalie Jaimee O’Brien has started all 9 games in net for the Corsairs, and she currently leads the Little East conference in saves with 60.
The Corsairs will seek to put one in the win column on Wednesday, September 26th, when they take on conference opponent Keene State at home at 7:00 PM.
PHOTO COURTESY: CORSAIR ATHLETICS