Top-Seeded Framingham State Stunned By Worcester State, 3-0, in MASCAC Semifinals
Framingham, Mass. – The fourth-seeded Worcester State University women's soccer team stunned top-seeded Framingham State University with a 3-0 shutout in the semifinal round of the 2013 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women's Soccer Championship on Friday afternoon at Maple Street Field.
The Lancers (11-6-2) extended their winning streak to four matches while simultaneously halting the Rams (13-2-1) 13-match unbeaten streak to advance to their seventh title match since 2004. The Blue and Gold will travel to either second-seeded Westfield State or third-seeded Bridgewater State on Sunday. The Owls and Bears meet tonight in Westfield at 7 p.m.
Worcester State senior Gaby Gonet (Agawam, Mass.) broke the ice with the first shot of the game, which was scooped up by sophomore goalkeeper Sara Sullivan (Quincy, Mass.), at 4:26. Six minutes later, junior Cassie Giardina (Pittsfield, Mass.) put the Lancers up 1-0 when she received a feed from junior Shelby Archer (Dayville, Conn.), made a nifty move inside the box and sent the ball past the netminder for the early lead. The goal was Giardina's fourth of the year while Archer tied a team record with her eighth assist of the season.
The Rams best chance in the first 45 minutes came in the 33rd minute when freshman Olivia Buonopane (Middleton, Mass.) had a good look from close range go above the crossbar. Heading into the break, Framingham State outshot the guests 10-5 and took all five corner kicks.
Sullivan kept the game close when she made a diving save on a shot by junior Alyssa Sawyer (West Springfield, Mass.) in the 56th minute. Six minutes later, sophomore Alicia Macomber (Stoughton, Mass.) corralled a feed from Gonet and sent the ball around the netminder to increase the Lancers lead to 2-0. In the 76th minute, freshman Kendal Bergenholtz (Grafton, Mass.) made it 3-0 in favor of the guests when she found an opening on the right side of the net following a pass from senior Laura Maunsell (Medford, Mass.).
Worcester State backstop Jillian Witkowski (Leicester, Mass.) tallied four saves in her fifth clean sheet of the year as she improved to 10-5-1 while Sullivan (10-1-1) suffered her only loss of the year in a six-save outing. The Lancers held MASCAC Player of the Year, and leading scorer, senior Kayla Austin (Winchester, Mass.) to four shots, including just one on goal, while also limiting junior Marisa Parent (Revere, Mass.) and Isabela DeSousa (Framingham, Mass.) to three shots apiece.
The Rams now await word of a potential ECAC Division III New England bid.