Chicopee, MA – The Elms College women's soccer team took down the visiting New England College Pilgrims 2-1 in last night's New England Collegiate Conference semi-final game. The Blazers advance to the conference championship game for the sixth time in seven years, and will face familiar foe Lesley University on Saturday 11/9 at 2PM at Hormel Stadium in Medford, MA.
The first half started with back and forth action with both teams playing at a fast pace, and bringing the physical play. The Blazers would get the better of the scoring opportunities early on, firing several shots at the Pilgrim net, but timely saves by the NEC keeper or near misses kept the game scoreless.
The Pilgrims would start to apply some offensive pressure of their own, and in the 22nd minute opened up the scoring on a shot from just inside the 18 yard box. The Blazers would not wait long to tie things up, and would find the equalizer just seven minutes later. Zaya Clark (Springfield, MA) would find Kayla Pasquel (North Attelboro, MA) in the middle of the field, Pasquel would then hit a perfect through ball to a cutting Elaina Vilar (Watertown, CT). Vilar would run onto the through ball and place a shot into the back of the NEC goal. The rest of the half saw the two team battle for possession in the midfield, and go into the break even at 1-1.
The second half saw the same fast pace and physical play. The Blazers would start to take over possession and create quality scoring chances, but were unable to find the go-ahead-goal. The Pilgrims were only able to get off three shots in the second frame, but nearly took the lead when an NEC player played a ball into the Blazer box, the ball would skip around and was eventually deflected just past the Elms net, and out of bounds for a goal kick.
With the game still tied at 1-1 with only seven minutes to play, it looked and felt like extra time was coming; however the Blazers had other plans. Elms would work the ball down the sideline into the NEC end, and play a ball into the middle of the field. Shannon Denault (Chicopee, MA) would take possession and get a pass into Morgan Foucault (Putnam, CT). Foucault would stay calm and collected, take a perfect touch, and slot a shot past the Pilgrim keeper into the far side netting for the go ahead goal and eventual game winner.
Becca Molin (West Hartford, CT) was solid yet again in goal for the Blazers, making six saves.
The Blazers will play for the NECC championship on Saturday 11/9 vs Lesley University at 2PM at Hormel Stadium in Medford, MA.