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Fourth-Seeded Women's Soccer Advances Past Fifth-Seeded Wellesley in Penalty Kick Shootout

Fourth-Seeded Women's Soccer Advances Past Fifth-Seeded Wellesley in Penalty Kick Shootout

Springfield, Mass. - October 31, 2017 - After 110 minutes of scoreless play, the Springfield College women's soccer team and Wellesley College went to a penalty kick shootout, and the Pride prevailed 7-6 over the Blue on a brisk Tuesday evening at Brock-Affleck Field. The penalty kick shootout victory advanced the maroon and white to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Semifinals, where it will take on top-seeded MIT at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning in Cambridge.

Springfield College will go into Championship Weekend boasting a record of 13-5-1, as the Blue end their season with a mark of 6-8-4. In net for the Pride, Ciara Boucher (Manchester, Conn.), who saved three penalty kicks to help the Pride advance, made a pair of saves, while her counterpart, Olivia Reckley (Grosse Ile, Mich.) made six stops over 110 minutes and made a pair of stops in the penalty kick shootout, but her efforts fell just short, as the Blue's season came to a close.

Springfield College also held a 17-6 shot advantage over 110 minutes of play, including a 9-0 margin in the second half. The Pride was granted three corner kicks to Wellesley's two.

Both teams fought hard in the opening minutes of the contest, as Springfield College looked to get the first scoring opportunity of the game when Mikaela Coady (Middletown, Conn.) took a pair of shots from the Blue's defensive end, the first being blocked, and the second sailing just wide five seconds later. Towards the end of the opening stanza, Gabrielle Fernandes (North Smithfield, R.I.) got one on cage, but Reckley held tough and kept the Pride at bay.

In the second half, it was all Springfield College. In the 66th minute, Coady looked to have another opportunity, but her bid was caught by Reckley, before the senior worked to get another scoring opportunity, but the Blue's sophomore goalkeeper stifled Coady once more to hold Springfield College scoreless. With 1:52 to play, Coady had her third chance of the second half, but Reckley notched her sixth save of the contest to hold the game in a scoreless tie.

The two sides fought hard for the next 20 minutes as well between the two 10-minute overtime frames, but either was able to find the back of the net, forcing a penalty kick shootout.

Junior defender Aly Morell (New Britain, Conn.) stepped up first and converted, but was matched by Wellesley's Zoe Matticks (Minneapolis, Minn.), before Reckley stuffed Leavitt, allowing the Blue to take the advantage on a strike from Ella Matticks (Minneapolis, Minn.). Next up, Mackenzie Luiz (Newington, Conn.) converted, and so did Gabriela Portilla (West Windsor, N.J.), but a Kim Quiles (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) conversion, followed by a save from Boucher on Maddie Lee (Los Angeles, Calif.) gave the advantage back to the Pride. From there, Brinsley Chasse (Veazie, Maine) found the back of the net, before Melise Knowles (Diablo, Calif.) matched with a conversion of her own.

Heading into the sixth round, Reckley was able to shut the door on Fernandes, but Boucher was able to stifle Hannah Knoll (Boise, Idaho) to stay even. After both teams converted in the seventh and eighth rounds, Nikki Kerr (Manchester, Conn.) slotted her chance, setting up the game-winning save for Boucher on Deyanira Ibarra (Los Olivios, Calif.) lifting the Pride to victory.