Springfield, Mass. - November 1, 2016 - Senior defender Elizabeth Monsen (Wayne, N.J.) converted a penalty kick just 3:10 into the contest, as the Springfield College women's soccer program defeated Emerson, 1-0, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Quarterfinals at Brock-Affleck Field on Tuesday night.
With the win, the fourth-seeded Pride improve to 11-4-3 on the year, while Emerson, which earned the fifth seed in the tournament, finishes the season with an overall record of 10-10. Springfield College held a 16-14 shot advantage over the course of the contest, while Emerson held a slight 6-2 margin in corner kicks.
Springfield College's junior goalkeeper Ciara Boucher (Manchester, Conn.) was phenomenal in between the pipes for the Pride, as she notched a career-best nine saves over 90 minutes of play. Boucher, along with Springfield College's stout defensive unit, has not allowed a goal in the last 470 minutes of play. For Emerson, senior goalkeeper Melanie Escobar (Torrington, Conn.) posted eight saves in the setback.
Springfield College got on the board early in the contest when Kim Quiles (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) made a great run towards the Lions' net, but an Emerson defender hauled her down in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Pride. Senior defender Elizabeth Monsen (Wayne, N.J.) stepped up and buried her chance to give Springfield College an early one-goal advantage.
With just under 13 minutes remaining in the first stanza, it looked as if the Pride was going to push its lead to a pair when Shannon Wells (Milford, Vt.) took a bid on cage, but her shot was blocked. The rebound bounced to the foot of Elise Leavitt (Stratham, N.H.), who blasted a shot on cage, but Escobar made the save to keep the Pride at bay.
Emerson came out in the second half and put three shots on cage in a span of 3:40, but Boucher came up with three big stops to keep the Lions off the board. Just minutes later, Springfield College put three chances of its own on cage when Quiles and Mary Silva (Ludlow, Mass.) both missed wide, before Quiles connected on her second shot of the flurry, but was stifled by Escobar to keep it a one-goal game.
With under five minutes remaining in the contest, Quiles got loose on the left flank, and sent a ball into the box, but junior forward Mikaela Coady (Middletown, Conn.) caught up to the ball and tipped a shot just wide to keep it a one-goal game. The Pride was able to fend off a late rally from the Lions to escape with the 1-0 win.
With the victory, Springfield College will advance to the NEWMAC Championship Semifinals where it will face top-seeded WPI on Saturday, November 5 at 12 p.m.