Cropley Paces Southern Maine Past Thomas 2-0

Senior Mariah Cropley scored both of the Huskies' goals in a 2-0 win over Thomas.
Senior Mariah Cropley scored both of the Huskies' goals in a 2-0 win over Thomas.
            WATERVILLE, Maine  – Senior Mariah Cropley (Topsham, Maine/Mt. Ararat) scored a pair of second half goals to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 2-0 win over the Thomas College Terriers in the second game of the Terrier Soccer Classic at Smith Field in Waterville, Maine.

            The win is the first of the season for the Huskies who snap a two-game losing streak to stand at 1-2.  Thomas is now 1-2 with the loss.

            Despite a 12-6 advantage in shots, the Huskies were stifled in the opening stanza and were tied with the Terriers 0-0 at the break.  Senior Emily Staples (Gardiner, Maine) had a near miss for the Huskies in the 35th minute blasting the post.  Thomas goalkeeper sophomore Paige Leary (Palermo, Maine/Erskine Academy) made six of her game-high nine saves in the opening half.

            With the score locked up at nil, Cropley wasted little time putting the Huskies on the board in the second half.  Cropley took a pass from senior Amy Jose (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) for her first goal of the season just 24 seconds into half.  Cropley notched her second marker of the game in the 57th minute to give Southern Maine a commanding 2-0 lead. 

            "It was a solid team effort," noted USM head coach Lisa Petruccelli.  "We executed our game plan and controlled the pace of play.  It was a fun game to watch and I am hopeful that this is the momentum swing we needed to propel us forward as the season progresses."

            The Huskies finished the game outshooting Thomas 22-13 and had a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. In the second half, Thomas was nearly even with Southern Maine in shots with nine to the Huskies' 10, but junior goalkeeper Marissa Temple (Grafton, Mass.) was up to the task making four of her five saves in the final 45 minutes to earn the shut out victory.  Temple made a pair of back-to-back saves in the 90th minute to preserve the clean sheet.

            Southern Maine returns to action tomorrow (1:30 p.m.) and will face Maine Maritime Academy in the final game of the Terrier Soccer Classic.  Thomas will face UMaine Presque Isle at 12:30 p.m.  Maine Maritime defeated UMPI 1-0 in the opening game of the tournament.