Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The top-seeded Elms College women's soccer team rolled to a 6-0 victory over visiting Mitchell College in a quarterfinal match of the 2016 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship tournament, hosted at Leary Field Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Blazers improve to 16-3-1 on the season and advance to the semifinals to face five-seed Bay Path University, while the Mariners wrap up the 2016 campaign with a 2-14 mark.
The Blazers wasted little time cracked the scoreboard as junior Lexi Vieira (Warren, R.I.) chased a ball down the sideline and then delivered a cross to the front of the net, where classmate Brie Voight (Springfield, Mass.) chipped a shot past Mitchell freshman goalkeeper Jordan Lohneiss (West Hartford, Conn.) to give Elms the 1-0 lead.
In the sixth minute of action, the Mariners knocked away a cross from Elms junior Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.), but junior Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.) gathered the loose ball and tucked a shot past Lohneiss to make it 2-0. Just over five minutes later, Soucia launched a corner kick to the front of the net where senior Kathleen Tuechler (Farmingdale, N.Y.) delivered the finish to hand the Blazers a 3-0 lead.
Elms posted their final tally of the first half at the 1:52 mark as junior Madison Jung (Stafford Springs, Conn.) battled for a ball and then lofted a cross towards the net, where senior Rachel Connell (Easthampton, Mass.) swooped in and knocked the ball to the back of the net, staking the Blazers to a 4-0 lead at the half.
The Blazers carried their momentum into the second frame, adding to their advantage in the 51st minute as junior Angelina Estrada (Springfield, Mass.) blasted home a one-timer off a ball from LaRochelle to build a 5-0 lead. Elms netted the final strike of the day as Voight ripped a shot off the post, but sophomore Kelsey Shea (Belchertown, Mass.) collected the rebound and fired a shot to the upper corner, sending the Blazers to the 6-0 victory.
The Blazers dominated the shot column, 36-0, during the contest. Elms freshman goalkeeper Rebecca Molin (West Hartford, Conn.) didn't face a shot as she collected her record-setting 13th shutout of the season, while Lohneiss made a match-high 14 saves for Mitchell in the loss.
The Blazers will return to the pitch Wednesday night for a NECC Semifinal match against fifth-seeded Bay Path University Wedensday night at 7:00 p.m. The Mariners concluded play for the 2016 season.