Nov. 4, 2011
KEENE, New Hampshire – With history looking as if though it was going to repeat itself, the Beacons run for a conference title came to an end late Friday evening, as the number one seed Owls of Keene State College (14-7-0) edged the fourth seed Beacons (13-7-1) 3-1 in penalty kicks in the semi-final round of the Little East Conference. That match officially ended as a 1-1 tie, with Keene advancing the conference championship on penalty kicks.
For UMass, Friday’s match marked the second straight year, where the Beacons as the fourth seed, forced the regular season champions into the game-deciding penalty kick round. Last season, UMass upset Eastern Connecticut State 3-1 in penalty kicks to advance to the program’s first championship game.
Netting the lone and at the time go-ahead goal for the Beacons was freshman standout Krista Ledin (Bridgewater, Mass.). The goal, her 20th of the season, tied the single-season scoring record at UMass Boston. In the 31st minute, Ledin managed to get around two Owl defenders to beat Keene State goalkeeper Megan Dempsey.
UMass would maintain their lead through the remainder of the first half, and 12 minutes into the second. Keene State tied the game at 1-1 on an Erin Griffin goal, which was assisted by Jessica Berthiaume. Following that play, the two teams would go back-and-forth with neither able to capitalize on their chances.
After the end of regulation, Keene would combine for five shots in the two 10 minute overtime periods. UMass would tally just one shot before the final horn blew on the overtime.
In the penalty kick round, both teams would miss their first shots. UMass, who was shooting first saw Sam Cristoforo (Rockland, Mass.), make her chance to give UMass a 1-0 lead. Keene would be unable to convert on their second opportunity, giving UMass some hope. However back-to-back misses by the Beacons and three straight goals by Keene secured the Owls victory.
On the night, Keene held a 21-11 advantage in shots, while the corner kick opportunities were even at four a piece. Dempsey recorded six saves in the match. Freshman goalkeeper Dani Perkins (Murrieta, Cali.) combined for seven saves in her first collegiate semi-final appearance.
Women’s soccer will now wait to see if they could possibly receive an at-large bid to either the NCAA tournament or ECAC New England regional tournament. Both brackets will be announced on Monday.