Westfield State Advances To MASCAC Championship Game With 2-0 Victory Over Salem State
WESTFIELD, Mass. – The undefeated Westfield State University women's soccer team struck for two quick goals early in the second half to upend Salem State University, 2-0, in the semifinals of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament on Friday evening, Nov. 2.
The Owls, 17-0-1, will host Bridgewater State University on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 1:00 p.m. in the MASCAC Tournament championship game, with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national tournament.
In Friday's other semifinal match, Bridgewater, the No. 3 seed, outlasted No. 2 seed Worcester State in penalty kicks, 4-3. Bridgewater and Worcester played to a scoreless double overtime tie, with the Bears moving on to the championship game.
Salem State, which finished with a fine 10-6-2 overall record, held Westfield scoreless for nearly 60 minutes, then the Owls struck for their two goals in a 1:09 span.
Sophomore back Ali Blanchette delivered the game-winning goal on a free kick from the 10-yard line. Blanchette blasted the goal inside the far post in the 60th minute.
In the 61st minute, sophomore Ashleigh Chretien scored an insurance goal that was set up by beautiful assists from the M&M Girls – senior forwards Brittanie McGregor and Kayley Miller.
Miller sent a nice pass from the 35 to McGregor at the 15. McGregor took two steps to break away from a Salem defender then delivered a pass to the middle of the field to Chretien, who scored to send the large crowd into a frenzy.
Westfield outshot Salem, 22-8. Salem goalie Rachel Ledbetter registered eight saves. Owl keeper Jess Habif made three saves, including a clutch save from point blank range near the post with eight minutes remaining in regulation.