Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's soccer team blanked visiting Nichols College, 3-0, in a non-conference match at Leary Field Wednesday night. With the win, the Blazers improve to 4-2 on the season, while the Bison fall to 2-3 overall.
After more than 15 minutes of scoreless play, the Blazers cracked the scoreboard as senior Brie Voight (Springfield, Mass.) gathered a loose ball and fired a shot on net, which was denied by Bisons junior goalkeeper Brooke Downey (Middleboro, Mass.), but Voight pursued the rebound and tucked a shot inside the far post to stake Elms to a 1-0 lead. The Blazers held the 1-0 advantage heading into halftime.
In the 49th minute of play, Elms added to their lead as senior Angelina Estrada (Springfield, Mass.) received a pass near the post and played the ball back to sophomore Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.), who arched a high shot over the head of Downey, pushing the Blazers ahead 2-0. With 22:11 remaining, Richard struck again, firing home a loose ball rebound after an initial denial by Downey on an attempt from Estrada, to put Elms up 3-0.
The Blazers dominated the shot column, 27-7, during the contest. Elms sophomore goalkeeper Rebecca Molin (West Hartford, Conn.) notched four saves in her fourth clean sheet of the season, while Downey matched a season-high with 14 saves.
"I thought we had a solid effort tonight," said Elms Head Coach Sean Milbier. "We were a little slow in the first half, but we scored a nice goal. We can them POMO (Position Of Maximum Opportunity) goals, it's about getting the rebound and being in the position of maximum opportunity, and Brie Voight did a great job following up her own rebound. We got a little slow after the goal, a little complacent, and didn't defend really well, and Nichols took it to us for a little bit. We regrouped at halftime, put together a game plan, and played great in the second half. Haley Richard is working hard and she's stepped up big for us this season. She has big shoes to fill, fortunately those shoes are of our assistant coach Rocky [Rachel Mick], and she's been a mentor to Haley, and I'm very proud of Haley Richard tonight. Dean is a new team to the conference, we know a little bit about them. I'm sure they will come here wanting to knock us off, and we'll be prepared, put in our game plan, train for two days, and be ready for Saturday."
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they open up New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) hosting Dean College Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Nichols hosts Wentworth in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play Saturday at 11:00 a.m.