By Sports Editor Tom Griffin
The autumn wind is a pirate, or in this case, a Corsair, and the gale force winds of a passing Nor’easter propelled the Corsairs past two Little East Conference hurdles.
Setting their sights on blowing past the Westfield State Owls, the Corsairs made quick work of the Owls’ defense. Taking their first lead a minute and a half in, the Stormwinds (pun intended) struck first. Elliana Stormwind snuck in the first goal of the night, followed by her sister, Lydia Stormwind, just eight minutes later.
Only around halfway through the first quarter, the Corsairs held a healthy, commanding 2-0 lead, and showed no signs of slowing down.
The team used their comfortable lead to double down on the offensive push, relenting very little on the Westfield State netminder as they launched volley after volley of Corsair cannon-fire. With an overwhelming ten shots on goal, nearly double that of the Owls’ output, the away team’s netminder stood on her head as the Corsair offense did little to make her day easier.
With added pressure put on the opposing goalie, the Corsairs took the heat off of their own goaltender, Junior Katelyn Banalewicz, who was free to thrive in net, coming away with four saves in the shutout victory.
The Corsairs kept on the offensive deep into the fourth quarter, where the opposing goalie broke for a third time. Leading the team on shots for the night with 3, Kylie Dias tacked on a third goal to UMass Dartmouth’s already substantial lead, sealing the ten minutes of remaining regulation off for good.
If prevailing over Westfield State in comfortable fashion was a well-organized team win, their next contest, against Fitchburg State, would be a dismantling.
Riding off the success of their last victory, the Corsairs established that the best defense was an unrelenting offense. Immediately taking the course of the game into their own hands, the UMassD team sent a grand total of 19 shots the way of the Falcons’ goalie, with 16 on goal.
This level of offensive oppression would continue in favor of the Corsairs from start to finish. For reference, where the Corsairs fired 16 shots on goal, the Falcons only managed 4 shots in total. Credit due to Colleen Lamprey, the Falcons’ netminder, who carried her team with 14 saves but couldn’t hold up against the UMassD firing line.
Breaking through Lamprey’s stout defenses was Hannah Steen, whose goal, albeit toward the very end of the second quarter, duly rewarded the Corsairs for their unwavering offensive push. Brittany Perry, contributing toward the very end of the third, scored a second Corsair goal, propelling the team to a 2-0 victory.
For as rocky a season as the Corsairs have had, the passing storm winds brought the Stormwinds inspiration: strike first, strike hard, do damage, and leave only when everything, including opposing spirits, have been broken – a team identity.
This Corsair team will get chances to flex its newfound aggression in Little East showdowns against Bridgewater State and Southern Maine.