Huskies Fend Off Colonials, Earn 10-9 LEC Win

DANBURY, Conn. Trailing 10-5 with under 10 minutes remaining in the game, Western Connecticut made a valiant come-back bid scoring four unanswered goals in five minutes, but Southern Maine stood strong and controlled the ball for the game's final four minutes to escape with a 10-9 Little East Conference victory Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Huskies improve to 4-8 overall and 2-0 in the Little East. Three of the Huskies' losses have been to nationally-ranked opponents. The loss drops Western Connecticut to 6-6 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

Southern Maine freshman midfielder Rosie Forster (Andover, Mass.) led all scorers with five goals, while sophomore midfielder Shelby Turcotte (Lewiston, Maine) added two. Freshman midfielder Jackie Kelly (Brunswick, Maine), senior attack Erica Higginbotham (Winthrop, Mass.) and sophomore midfielder Samantha Purcell (Durham, Maine/Lisbon) each found the net once each.

Sophomore Nicole Perrone (Brookfield, Conn.) led the Colonial offense with three goals, followed by sophomore Devon Edwards (Islip, N.Y.) with two. Junior Brianna Mitterando (Mastic Beach, NY), sophomore Emily Brooks (Kingston, N.Y.), junior Kaitlyn Arconti (Danbury, Conn.), and junior Jessica Bouwman (New Milford, Conn.) each added single goals for the Colonials.

Southern Maine got on the board early with two goals in the game's opening minute as Forster and Turcotte gave the Huskies an early lead. Five minutes later, WestConn evened the score with back-to-back goals by Perrrone and Arconti, less than 30 seconds apart. A pair of unassisted goals by the Huskies made the score 4-2, before Bouwman's unassisted tally at the 19:54 mark closed the gap to 4-3 in favor of Southern Maine.

Forster quickly scored twice to push the Husky lead to 6-3, and the Southern Maine defense kept WestConn off the board for the next 10 minutes. WestConn closed the half with goals by Perrone and Mitterando to make the Southern Maine advantage 6-5 going into the locker room at the half.

Southern Maine struck quickly to start the second half with a Turcotte goal in the opening minute to lead 7-5. Defense and goaltending dominated play over the next 10 minutes, until the Huskies scored twice in 20 seconds for a 9-5 advantage. Forster nailed her fifth goal of the game on a free position shot, while Higginbotham tallied her lone goal of the game on an assist from sophomore attack Lauren Santo (Salem, N.H.).

Purcell scored Southern Maine's final goal at the 12:15 mark to lead 10-5 before WestConn attempted its dramatic comeback. Edwards sparked the WestConn rally with a pair of goals one minute apart to make the score 10-7 with eight minutes to play. Brooks scored an unassisted goal one minute later, and when Perrone scored her third of the game with four minutes remaining on the clock, Southern Maine called time-out to discuss their strategy.

Coming out of the time-out, the Huskies successfully controlled the ball for nearly four minutes, but a turnover with 10 seconds remaining wasn't enough for WestConn to mount a threat and Southern Maine escaped with 10-9 victory.

For the game, WestConn outshot Southern Maine 38-23, and had 26 shots on goal compared to 19 for the Huskies. Southern Maine's goalkeeper, sophomore Samantha Kiesel (Lakeville, Mass.) was the difference in the game, making 17 saves on the day to collect her third win of the season. WestConn's freshman goalkeeper Karli Portnoy (Sea Cliff, NY) made nine saves, but only one in the second half, and suffers the loss.

Southern Maine hosts Rhode Island College on Tuesday (4:00 p.m.). Western Connecticut travels to Vassar College on Tuesday (4:30 p.m.).


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