Big second half lifts women's soccer past AIC, up NE10 standings

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Second-half goals from Suzanne Cotter, Corey Murray and Alexis Elowitch sent the Saint Anselm College women's soccer team to a 3-0 victory over Northeast-10 Conference opponent American International College on Saturday afternoon at Melucci Field.

Box Score

Following a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Cotter and Murray scored less than five minutes apart in the first 15 minutes of the second half to give Saint Anselm (6-7-1, 4-7-1 NE10) a two-goal cushion. Elowtich added an insurance goal in the 72nd minute as Payton Wildrick and the defense held American International (4-8-4, 3-7-2 NE10) for Wildrick's second-straight shutout.

The back-to-back clean sheets were the first for Saint Anselm since the 2013 team posted three-straight shutouts from Oct. 22-30, blanking Southern New Hampshire, Assumption and Stonehill in succession. The Hawks improved to 5-2-1 at home this season with the victory.

The win brought Saint Anselm even on points with Bentley University for the eighth and final berth in the NE10 Championship. The Hawks sit one point ahead of three other teams with two games remaining.

In the first half, Cotter drew a save from Mikayla Demanche in the 33rd minute and Kylie Larocque hit the post just seconds later. Both of Wildrick's saves in the game came in the final 11 minutes of the opening half as the teams went into the break scoreless.

Cotter broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute with her second goal of the season, behind the ball in just under the bar from the right side of the box for an unassisted tally. Just 4:39 later, Murray doubled the Hawks' lead, drilling home a rebound in front after a Lauren Case cross-turned-shot came back off the cross bar for her team-high seventh of the year.

Murray's seven goals this season are tied for the most by a Saint Anselm player since Kaitlin Oldfield bagged 10 goals in 2012. Kendra Bonczar had seven goals in 2013 and Elowitch scored seven in 2014.

In the 72nd minute, Elowtich scored for the second-straight game to extend Saint Anselm's lead to 3-0. Jessica Kaufman collected a long ball from Wildrick on the right wing and crossed for classmate Elowitch, who brought the ball down in the box and fired across the goalkeeper to cap the scoring.

Saint Anslem outshot AIC by a 15-10 count in the game thanks to an 8-3 edge in the first half. Demanche made three saves while falling to 4-7-4 for the Yellow Jackets. Wildrick evened her mark at 2-2-0 for the Hawks.

The game was also Saint Anselm's Cancer Awareness Game as the men's and women's soccer teams raised over $3,500 for the fight against cancer through t-shirt sales during the week.

The Hawks face the University of New Haven on the road at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25 before wrapping up the regular season against Merrimack College at home on Saturday, Oct. 28 for Senior Day.