CHICOPEE, Mass. – The third-seeded Elms College women's soccer team netted a late second-half goal, and then defeated visiting six-seed Curry College, 4-3, on penalty kicks in the 2015 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Quarterfinals Wednesday night at Leary Field. The Blazers move to 16-3-2 on the season, while the Colonels wrap their campaign with a 13-6-2 overall record.
The Colonels broke a scoreless tie in the 17th minute of play as junior Kaitlyn Lima (New Bedford, Mass.) played a cross to the far side of the box, where sophomore Samantha McGrath (Carver, Mass.) hit a light shot right at Elms senior goalkeeper Alexa Rinaudo (Bellmore, N.Y.). The shot slipped through the hands of Rinaudo and into the back of the net to stake the Colonels to an early 1-0 lead. The Blazers managed six first-half shots, but Curry maintained the 1-0 lead after the first half of action.
With less than five minutes to play, Elms junior Sevonnah LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) pursued a long ball towards the Colonels goal line, and was taken down in the box by a Curry defender, resulting in a penalty kick for the Blazers. On the ensuing attempt, senior Michelle Rossignol (Manchester, Conn.) ripped a shot over the head of Curry junior goalie Christina Chiofalo (Smithtown, N.Y.), sending the contest into overtime knotted at 1-1.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the match would be decided on penalty kicks. Curry received successful attempts from junior Kelly Parker (Branford, Conn.), Lima, and sophomore Abigail Ford (Halifax, Mass.), while the Blazers had good attempts from Rossignol, sophomore Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.), and junior Rachel Mick (Granby, Mass.) to force a sixth round of shots. Curry sophomore Korinna Tsonis (Dartmouth, Mass.) sent a shot high over the goal for the Colonels, and then Elms junior Meeghan O'Connor (Fall River, Mass.) stepped up and fired a shot past Curry junior Brianna Fitzsimmons (East Haven, Conn.) to push Elms into the ECAC semifinals with a shootout victory.
The Blazers edged the Colonels in the shot column, 20-12, during the match. Rinaudo made a match-high seven saves for Elms, while Chiofalo stopped five shots, and Fitzsimmons made two saves in relief.
The Blazers will move onto the ECAC Semifinals to fact seventh-seeded Emerson College Saturday afternoon at tournament host Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts. Kick-off is to be determined. Curry wrapped up their action for the 2015 season.