Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's soccer edged visiting Nichols College, 1-0, in a non-conference matchup at Leary Field. The Blazers improve to 4-1-1 overall, while the Bison drop to 0-5 on the season.
The squads battled for possession in the early going with each defensive line limiting the scoring opportunities. Elms had a chance to crack the scoreboard in the 8th minute as junior Brie Voight (Springfield, Mass.) ripped a shot over the net off a corner kick. The Bison threatened two minutes later working a give-and-go through the defense but junior Ashley Cibotti (Norton, Mass.) launched a shot wide of the net. In the 30th minute, the Blazers drew a foul outside the Bison box, earning a free kick, but junior Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) blasted the attempt off the crossbar, keeping the match scoreless heading into halftime.
Elms continued to press in the second half with juniors Angelina Estrada (Springfield, Mass.) and Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.) firing back-to-back shot, but Nichols sophomore Brooke Downey (Middleboro, Mass.) made a pair of saves. Downey stopped three more attempts by the Blazers until Elms broke through in the 75th minute as Voight lofted a cross towards the front of the net, where senior Rachel Mick (Granby, Mass.) headed the ball past Downey's reach and into the back corner, staking the Blazers to a 1-0 lead. The Elms defense held Nichols to one shot over the final 15 minutes to preserve the 1-0 victory.
The Blazers dominated the shot column, 17-4, during the contest. Elms freshman goalkeeper Rebecca Molin (West Hartford, Conn.) made one save in her third shutout of the season, while Downey stopped a game-high six shots for Nichols.
Elms will be back on the pitch when they open New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play with a road trip to Regis College for a 1:00 p.m. tilt. Nichols hosts Gordon in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) contest Saturday at 1:00 p.m.