NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – After having its Saturday quarterfinal playoff postponed on a game-time decision, Southern Vermont College defeated Eastern Nazarene College 3-0 Sunday afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's soccer postseason match at Mass. College of Liberal Arts' Shewcraft Field.
The fourth-seeded Mountaineers went up 1-0 midway through the opening stanza on a goal from senior captain Molly Madore (Higganum, Conn.); they padded their lead early into the second as Madore converted on a penalty opportunity. SVC added another tally in the 69th minute while preventing No. 5 ENC from getting any good looks inside the box to secure the shutout.
Southern Vermont (9-6-2) will now head to top-seeded Lesley University on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. semifinal contest at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass. Eastern Nazarene finishes the year with an overall record of 7-9-1.
SVC junior goalie Taylor Jarosz (Troy, N.Y.) made six saves as she moved to 9-5-1 between the posts; she now has six shutouts on the season—that tying the program record for the third-most in a single season.
"I'm really proud of the team," said SVC eighth-year head coach Michael Zauzig. "That's a great win over a good group. More than anything, I'm proud we have made it to this point. Despite the start of the year being tough, our team has battled and given itself this opportunity. We should be excited about the win today, the semis Wednesday, and the opportunity to play Lesley."
Both teams had early chances, but the keepers were able to turn away each attempt to keep the game scoreless. SVC turned its second shot on goal into a score changer as the Mountaineers took a lead in the 20th minute.
Southern Vermont junior Ashley Blom (Manorville, N.Y.) knocked a corner kick from the right side of the pitch into the middle of the box, and Madore was able to get to it and punch the ball home for her fifth goal of the year.
Opportunities were limited through the remainder of the half as SVC had just a 4-2 advantage in total shots.
Southern Vermont squandered a pair of excellent chances early in the second half with a penalty kick ringing off the crossbar before the ENC keeper came out to stifle a breakaway. Nonetheless, the Mountaineers were able to put up another two goals in the second half for some insurance.
A second penalty kick was awarded to SVC in the 57th minute, and Madore capitalized as she fired it high and down the middle for the 2-0 advantage. Blom then chalked up her second assist of the day when she fed a great ball to the left and through the ENC defensive line to freshman Megan Macdonald (Poughquag, N.Y.) near the top of the box; the rookie fired home her first collegiate goal to the left side of the frame for good measure.
The Lions put four of their six shots on goal at Jarosz in the final 20 minutes, but the SVC defense forced them all to come from outside the box for their keeper to reel each one in.
ENC freshman netminder Sarah Moschini (Upton, Mass.) finished with four saves in the loss (7-9).
– #LetsGoSVC –