BANGOR, Maine – Husson University (4-3, 1-0 NECC) soared past New England College (4-5, 0-1 NECC), 3-1, in their New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) opener on Saturday afternoon at the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex.
IN THE ACTION:
While Husson did have a few shots on goal early in the game, the first period was fairly even as both teams battled for possession, each trying to find their respective rhythms. Husson first-year midfielder, Leigha Carrier opened up the scoring as she netted the first goal of the competition, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead at 9:30 in the first period.
Husson kept up their pressure early in the second period with a few more shots on goal, all blocked by Pilgrim defenders. Not to be out done, the Pilgrims then put on some pressure of their own. Having been denied a goal mere minutes before, Pilgrims' forward Brittany Tierney would not be denied again as she slashed towards the goal and snuck one into the back of the net, tying the game at 1-1 just three minutes before the halftime horn.
Keeping with the same theme, the Eagles came out of halftime and took control of the third period early on. Husson took an astounding seven penalty corners in the first five minutes of the second half, putting the Pilgrims backs against the wall. However, led by freshman goalie Stephanie Milios, NEC's defense held strong and allowed nothing past during this Eagles onslaught. Late in the third period, Husson finally got past the stonewall defense of the Pilgrims, when Caroline Johnson broke the stalemate and put the Eagles back on top 2-1.
At the start of the fourth period, once again the Eagles took early control of the field and maintained almost complete possession of the ball. This time Husson capitalized on their early pressure when Mallory Fairbanks scored a rocket of shot off a penalty corner assisted by Karen Stemm giving the Eagles a comfortable 3-1 lead. After the goal, it seemed the Pilgrims found their stride as they took complete control of the game and dominated possession time. NEC's pressure and passing were on point as they tried to rally from a two-goal deficit, but it was too little too late as the Husson defense prevailed over the Pilgrims' offensive assault. Led by goalie Kimmie Goddard, who had six saves in the fourth period alone, the Eagles held onto their lead to the final whistle.
The Pilgrims had ten shots on goal in the contest, as Goddard saved nine between the pipes. Goddard played the entire 60 minutes and only allowed one goal, improving to 4-3 on the season. On the other end, Millios played the entire 60 minutes for NEC racking up five saves and dropping to 0-2 with the loss.
Husson returns to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Waterville to take on the Terriers of Thomas College in a 7:00 p.m. NECC game.