Nov. 7, 2010
DANBURY, CT (Nov. 7)-- Senior defender Tina Dias (Shelton, CT) netted the game-winning goal to lead the Western Connecticut State University women's soccer team past the University of Massachusetts Boston, 1-0, to capture its ninth Little East Conference Women's Soccer Tournament title Sunday afternoon at the WAC Field on the campus of Western Connecticut State. The senior back was named Most Outstanding Player as she played flawless defense and assisted on her second-consecutive game-winning goal. The win improves the Colonials record to 15-4-1 on the year while the loss drops the Beacons to 13-5-4 overall. The appearance in the championship was the first for UMass Boston and in the tournaments 12 year history, was the first time a Little East Conference institution other than Keene State College, Eastern Connecticut State University or Western Connecticut State University appeared in the finals.
WestConn, which extends its shutout string to a school-record 13 consecutive games, earns an automatic berth into its ninth NCAA Division III Championships. All the pairing for the first round will be announced on Monday morning.
In 41st minute Dias, crossed another brilliant pass, from the left side, to Lauren Matthews (Monroe, CT) who quickly put a right foot on the ball and beat Beacons freshman keeper Katie Coscia (Pittsfield, MA) high on her left-hand side. It was Matthews' team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Inside of five minutes remaining in regulation, the Beacons had their best chance of the afternoon when freshman forward Kelli Neville (Milton, MA) was left alone on the right side of the box and delivered low lining shot to the far post. Junior keeper Caitlin Avery (East Hampton, CT) made a spectacular diving save to her right and gathered the ball to squash the threat.
Avery finished the day with two saves as the Colonials' defense allowed UMass Boston to attempt only four shots over 90 minutes. They outshot the Beacons, 24-4 and it was Avery's eighth shutout of the season.
UMass Boston withstood high pressure for the WestConn offense all afternoon and fended off 12 corner kicks from the winners.
With 36 minutes remaining in the game, UMass Boston had its first quality opportunity to knot the score at 1-1 when junior midfielder Julienne McCuish (Mashpee, MA) fired a shot away from just outside the box but the wind pushed the shot just wide of the upper right hand corner of the goal.
The Colonials have not allowed a goal since Williams College edged them out, 1-0 back on September 22. They have yielded just nine goals all season.
Coscia registered 10 saves for the Beacons which are now 13-5-4 and hope to garner a berth into the upcoming ECAC Tournament.
WestConn also captured the LEC Crown in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. In 2007, it advanced all the way to the NCAA Division III Final Four at ESPN's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This year's national championship finals will be at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas.
*Release content provided courtesy of Western Connecticut State University Sports Information Dept.