MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's soccer team clinched a berth in the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Championship with a 4-2 win against the University of New Haven on Tuesday afternoon at Melucci Field.
It is the first time since the 2013 season that the Hawks, who improve to 8-6-1 overall and 8-4-1 conference play, made it to the NE10 postseason. The Chargers fall to 2-12-2 and 0-12-1 on the year against NE10 opponents.
Saint Anselm women's soccer Head Coach Joel Bancroft had lots of positivity with regard to his teams' performance.
"Today was a massive result for the players and the program," explained Bancroft. "Today's result is a culmination of a goal we set out to achieve after last October when we were eliminated in the last match of the season."
"In August, we felt we had enough in our side to realize this, but credit the players and our staff for all of their work and belief to get here," Bancroft continued. "As for the game today, it was another lesson for us," he said. "This league is so good across the board that you need to be sharp and ready every single match. You don't wake up with that consistency, you grow into it."
Saint Anselm landed five shots on net in the first half while surrendering only one on target, leading to a scoreless first half.
Each of the game's six goals was tallied in the final 45 minutes of play. The Hawks were given a corner kick two minutes into the second stanza and they capitalized on the opportunity. Sophomore Nicole White (Danvers, Mass.) launched a kick right into the box, finding the head of classmate Bailey Conti (Walpole, Mass.) to give Saint Anselm a 1-0 lead.
After a shot by New Haven hit the crossbar at the 48:50 mark of the game, Conti scored again in the 52nd minute, this time on a cross by freshman Regan Pratt (Topsfield, Mass.) for Pratt's first-career assist and point.
The Chargers cut the lead in half in the 69th minute on a goal by Samantha Roth. Saint Anselm would answer just over six minutes later as junior Kiley Larocque (Upton, Mass.) put away a shot on a cross by classmate Caly Farina (Southbury, Conn.).
Farina put herself in the goal column with 4:35 remaining in regulation. Chargers keeper Kyra Wolonsavich punched a ball away from danger but Farina blocked the ball and had a one-on-one opportunity, firing to the lower left side of the net to extend the Hawks' lead to 4-1.
However, New Haven would not go quietly, scoring 19 seconds later. Danielle DesRuisseaux found teammate Emily Bergold in the box, who fired a shot to make it 4-2 Saint Anselm.
Saint Anselm sophomore keeper Payton Wildrick (Dartmouth, Mass.) made a single save which came in the first half. Wolonsavich had seven saves for the Chargers. The Hawks had a 16-12 advantage in shots and 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
Saint Anselm travels to North Andover, Mass. on Saturday, Oct. 27 to take on the Warriors of Merrimack College at 6 p.m.