BOSTON, Mass. - Wheelock College (6-9, 5-1) defeated fellow New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) competitor, Elms College (6-12, 5-1), on Saturday afternoon at Winsor Field.
How It Happened: Wheelock College started the match in front of a record breaking crowd of 208 passionate fans. The previous attendance record was held at 177 when Wheelock hosted Bay Path College on October 20, 2012.
Wheelock came out strong from the start with 7 shots on goal in the first 9 minutes of play. Breaking the scoreless tie in the 22nd minute, Mary-Kate Pereira (Shrewsbury, Mass) gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead following a corner opportunity. Pereira ripped a quick shot over the goal line, and passed junior goalkeeper Jillian Lapponese (Enfield, Conn), off a gorgeous pass from
Julia D'Onofrio (Salem, N.H.).
Senior midfielder Alex LeBlanc (Atkinson, N.H.) lead the way for the attacking Wildcats with three strong shots on goal. LeBlanc just missed a scoring opportunity, when connecting with Pereira, off a corner at 14:04. With the final minute of the first half dwindling down, senior defensemen Genny Dyer (Chebeague, Island Maine) made a thrilling block on midfielder Olivia Keane's (Endfield, Conn) piercing shot.
The Blazers did not waste any time when junior forward Jeszenia McGuire (Brimfield, Mass.) found the back of the cage to tie the score at 1-1. However, Wheelock stayed persistent in the offensive zone and senior forward Katie Frade (Darthmouth, Mass.) was able to net what would prove to be the game winning goal in the 58th minute. Frade scored on an uncontested shot, from the top left of the cage, and recorded her 21st goal on the season and 70th goal overall.
Threatening to get on the scoreboard in the final minutes, Blazers forward Carissa Ramirez (San Diego, Calif.) sent an insertion pass to Madison Gabel (Agawam, Mass.) at the top of the circle. Gabel powering a shot on target, while senior defenseman Rachel Danis (Underhill, V.T.) raced from the right side of the field, to make a goals saving stop. Wildcats' goalkeeper Cassidy Smith (South Berwick, Maine) was then able to make a diving save, on the bottom left of the cage, to prevent a potential game tying goal.
Who Stood Out: Katie Frade is now the top leader for shots (112), points (48), and goals (21) in the New England Collegiate Conference. Frade was able to record her 70th career goal and stands as the Wheelock College all-time scorer. Once again, junior goalkeeper Cassidy Smith had a strong game in net with seven saves on eight shots on goal.
The Blazers will head to the NECC Championship Tournament as the two-seed, and will host third-seeded Becker College in the Semifinals at Leary Field Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.
Source: (Wheelock College Athletics)