DANBURY, Conn. -- Fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University scored once in each half and sophomore Molly Miller (Middlebury, Conn./Pomperaug) recorded two saves as the Colonials defeated the University of Southern Maine Huskies, 2-0, Tuesday evening in a first round playoff match of the 2009 Little East Conference Women's Soccer Championship Tournament.
The win vaults the Colonials, now 10-9-1, into a semifinal match on Thursday against top-seeded Keene State College. The Huskies conclude their season at 4-15-0. The match was the first between the two sides in the postseason play since the 2000 tournament.
Western Connecticut, seeking its fourth straight LEC tournament championship, finally broke through the USM defenses in the 32nd minute when senior Nicole Sieber (Newtown, Conn.) centered a pass from the left side to freshman Tracy Sales (Cumberland, R.I.) who beat senior goalkeeper Alison Bradley (Auckland, New Zealand) for her third goal of the campaign.
The Colonials picked up an insurance marker in the 60th minute when senior Angela Wozniak (Ludlow, Mass.) served a wind-blown corner kick that found its way into the goal.
Miller needed to make two saves, both coming in the first half, to pick up her first shutout of the season. Bradley had an outstanding game in her final collegiate match for USM making 10 saves.
Western Conn. had a 33-6 advantage in shots and a 13-2 edge in corner kicks.
In the other first round match played Tuesday, the third-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston blanked instate rival, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 4-0 to advance to a semifinal date at second-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University. The two semifinal winners will play for the title, and an automatic berth into the NCAA national championship tournament, on Saturday at the highest remaining seed.