(Courtesy of UMass Boston Sports Information)
BOSTON -- Junior midfielder Brianna Cavanaugh's (Belchertown, Mass.) goal just 0:26 seconds into the match proved to be decisive as the University of Massachusetts Boston women's soccer team defeated the University of Southern Maine, 1-0, Tuesday afternoon in a first-round match of the Little East Conference tournament at the Clark Athletic Center field.
With the win, the Beacons improve to 13-4-3 on the year and advance to the LEC semifinals for the third consecutive season. The Beacons will face top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University in one semifinal match on Thursday. The loss drops the Huskies to 5-15-0 overall and ends their 2010 campaign.
UMass Boston controlled the game's opening kickoff and immediately carried the ball deep into Southern Maine territory. Junior forward Molly Kuchar (Ashville, N.C.) possessed the ball just outside the Huskies' 18-yard box before delivering a through pass to Cavanaugh who was able to find the back of the net for just her second goal of the season.
The Beacons controlled much of the action in the first half, outshooting the Huskies by a 13-5 margin as well as owning a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks.
In the second half, the Huskies did everything they could to even the score. Their best chance came with 2:50 remaining in the stanza when senior forward Heidi DeHaan (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic) found some space inside the Beacons' penalty box to create a golden scoring opportunity. DeHaan fired off what appeared to be the game-tying shot only to have the ball ricochet off the crossbar and back into play. USM senior forward Danielle Poulin (Readfield, Maine/Maranacook) controlled the rebound and attempted another shot on goal, but UMass Boston freshman goalkeeper Katie Coscia (Pittsfield, Mass.) was there to make the save and preserve the 1-0 margin for the Beacons.
Coscia finished the game with four saves to earn her fourth consecutive clean sheet, and eighth shutout on the season. She has not allowed an opponent goal in 440 minutes of action, the second longest streak in program history. Junior goalkeeper Kat Rothe (Leeds, Maine/Leavitt Area) made six saves in net for the Huskies.