Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Elms College women's soccer team overcame an early deficit with five consecutive goals to capture a 6-3 victory over Rhode Island College in non-conference play at the RIC Varsity Complex Thursday night. The Blazers open the season with a 1-0 mark, while the Anchorwomen drop to 0-1.
In the 27th minute of action, RIC broke the scoreless tie as the Anchorwomen capitalized on a breakaway with a finish from sophomore Brittany DeGrooth (Westerly, R.I.) to grab a 1-0 lead. RIC extended their advantage to 2-0 with 11:05 remaining in the first half as senior Chelsea Combs (Ashford, Conn.) knocked in a deflected ball in the box.
With 37 second left in the opening stanza, Elms registered their first goal of the season due to a misplay by RIC freshman goalkeeper Amber-Marie Francois (Warwick, R.I.) allowing Blazers junior Brie Voight (Springfield, Mass.) to find the back of the net, cutting the deficit to 2-1 heading into the break.
Elms maintained their momentum in the second half, and evened the score at 2-2 in the 48th minute as junior Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) launched a free kick towards the net where Voight delivered a header finish for her second goal of the contest. The Blazers captured a 3-2 lead at the 27:43 behind an unassisted strike from senior Rachel Mick (Granby, Mass.).
In the 66th minute, LaRochelle notched her first tally of the season after finding a loose ball in front of the net to push the Elms advantage to 4-2. Freshman Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.) registered her first collegiate point with an assist on a 15-yard strike from senior Meeghan O'Connor (Fall River, Mass.) with 19:58 to play. The Anchorwomen halted the Blazers run at the 18:46 mark as junior Stephanie Ricci (Smithfield, R.I.) found the back of the goal on a free kick attempt. The Blazers final goal came as Voight recorded her second career hat trick, sending Elms to the 6-3 victory.
The Blazers dominated the shot column, 28-8, during the contest. Elms freshman keeper Rebecca Molin (1-0; West Hartford, Conn.) made two saves and collected the win in her first career start. Francois stopped a game-high 11 saves, while junior Brittany Sousa (Warwick, R.I.) made two saves in relief.
The Blazers will be back in action with their 2016 home opener against the University of Southern Maine, the first-ever meeting between the opponents, Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Leary Field. Rhode Island College travels to Salve Regina for a non-conference match Saturday at 1:00 p.m.