NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass.—In a matchup between two of the top 11 teams in the regional rankings, UMass Boston (11-1, 4-0 Little East Conference) overcame a tough road environment to earn a 2-1 victory over their in-state rivals UMass Dartmouth (9-2-1, 3-1 LEC) at the UMass Darmouth Athletic Complex Saturday afternoon.
Juniors Sam Cristoforo (Rockland, Mass.) and Tayla Andrews (Plymouth, Mass.) each scored a goal to help the Beacons earn their first ever 4-0 start in Little East Conference play. With the win, the Beacons increased their unbeaten streak to nine games (7-0-2) over the Corsairs and find themselves tied with Eastern Connecticut State University atop the LEC standings at 4-0.
Cristoforo scored her team-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season with less than 16 minutes remaining in the contest. The center-midfielder dribbled through the midfield and sent a low, hard strike from 25 yards out past UMass Dartmouth goalie Krista Chauvin.
The junior from Rockland has already set career-highs in goals (six), assists (seven) and points (19) and is sixth in the conference in points.
While Cristoforo came up with the late strike, it was Andrews who provided most of the offensive pressure. The former Little East Conference Rookie of the Year scored the first goal of the game nearly 25 minutes in, off a pass from Anna O'Donoghue (Swansea, Mass.). Andrews would continue to pressure the Dartmouth defense, creating multiple chances and having several shots go just wide.
For O'Donoghue, it was her first point of her senior campaign and her third career assist.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kristen Spain (Quincy, Mass.) had another strong start, making nine saves, including several stop late in the game to move to 10-1 on the year.
Reigning Little East Conference Goalie of the Week Krista Chauvin made nine stops for the Corsairs. Chauvin came up with a highlight reel save midway through the second half on an Andrews shot, to keep the score tied at one.
It took twenty minutes for the 10th ranked Corsairs and 11th ranked Beacons to feel each other out, as the teams managed just four shots in that span.
Andrews broke the scoreless draw at the 24:53 mark, for her thirteenth goal of the season. The junior is now tied with Krista Ledin (Bridgewater, Mass.) for the team lead and Little East Conference lead in goals.
Shelby Friedland would tie the score at one less than 10 minutes later. After taking a pass from Jillian Van Ness, Friedland buried a rebound past Spain, for her third goal of the year.
At halftime, UMass Boston held a slight lead in shots 9-7 and recorded the only two corner kicks of the stanza.
The second half started with a burst from UMass Dartmouth, who was trying to stay undefeated at home (6-1).
After withstanding several early Corsairs chances, UMass Boston took a 2-1 edge at the 73:48 mark when Cristoforo scored her sixth career game-winning goal.
UMass Boston would have to withstand three Corsairs chances in the final 10 minutes, including a corner kick with under a minute to play, but Spain would be up to the task.
For the game, the Beacons outshot UMass Dartmouth 19-14, but the Corsairs held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
UMass Boston will begin a three-game homestand on Thursday, when they host the Wentworth Institute of Technology at 3:30 p.m.