BENNINGTON, Vt. – Once it found a rhythm, the Southern Vermont College women's soccer offense kept rolling for the Mountaineers to post a 5-0 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) win over Wheelock College at Everett Field on Saturday.
SVC scored four times during a 15-minute stretch of the first half, and the hosts added one more in the second stanza while keeping the Wildcats off the board throughout the match for the team's fifth-straight shutout.
The Mountaineers improve to 7-4 with their five-game winning streak and move to 2-1 in league play; they will next head to Mitchell College on Monday for a 1 p.m. NECC matchup. Wheelock (1-8, 0-4 NECC) is off until next Saturday, October 14 when the Wildcats host Lesley University for a 2 p.m. Conference kickoff.
A pair of Southern Vermont players scored their first goals of the year, including senior captain Natalie Rose Canterbury (West Hartford, Conn.) who notched the eventual game winner. Junior captain Molly Madore (Higganum, Conn.) registered a goal and an assist in the win.
SVC keeper Melissa Mascari (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was untested throughout the afternoon as she moved to 7-4 on the year with her 21st-career clean sheet. WC freshman counterpart Elianna Murphy (West Nyack, N.Y.) finished with three saves in the loss (1-7).
Both sides moved the ball into their opponent's defensive third through the first 15 minutes of the game, but the Mountaineers then started to connect their passes and get quality looks at net. SVC got the ball deep into WC territory with a launched free kick, and a failed clearing attempt from the Wildcat defense allowed it to find Canterbury; she pushed home a shot from a few yards away for her third collegiate tally.
Just over 10 minutes later, Southern Vermont struck again for the 2-0 lead. Madore fought the ball away from a Wheelock defender on the left side of the pitch and worked it into the box near the goal line; she sent a pass across the frame where junior Vanessa Kendall (Coventry, Conn.) ran on and slammed it into the back of the cage for her first career goal.
It was only 63 seconds after that when SVC connected once again. Sophomore Ashley Blom (Manorville, N.Y.) took the ball in the middle of the pitch and sent a great pass up the gut and through the Wheelock defense; classmate Taylor Mallett (Berwick, Maine) got on the other end of the play and sent her first touch from the top of the box into the lower-left corner of the frame for her third of the season.
Southern Vermont would add one more in the half for a 4-0 advantage at the break. Freshman Nicole Shapiro (New Windsor, N.Y.) took the ball from about 25 yards out on the right side of the field and carried it all the way to the six-yard box in the 37th minute. She sent in a pass at the last second to the middle of the goal area where Madore was waiting to punch in her fifth of the year on her first touch.
Almost 25 minutes after the intermission, SVC found the back of the net one last time. Shapiro got to a Wildcat clearing attempt near the right touchline and sent the ball back in towards the top of the box; junior Naya Cerda (West Islip, N.Y.) met it there and took a touch to settle the ball before lacing her second of the season into the left part of the net. The Mountaineer defense played another terrific game as it didn't allow a single shot all day; it has now been 11-straight halves of soccer through which SVC has not allowed a goal.
– #LetsGoSVC –