KEENE, N.H. 11/10/10 – Senior midfielder Nora Mahoney (Belchertown, Mass.) netted a pair of goals to lead top seed Keene State College to a 3-1 victory over eighth seed Western New England College in a quarterfinal game of the ECAC New England women's soccer tournament at Owl Athletic Complex on Wednesday night.
Keene State (15-6-2) will host both semifinal and final rounds of the tournament this weekend. The Owls will face fifth seed Mass. College of Liberal Arts (11-2-6) in Saturday's first semifinal game at 1 p.m. MCLA defeated fourth seed St. Joseph's (Conn.) College in its opening-round game 3-2. Second seed Endicott College (16-5-2) will go up against third seed UMass-Boston (11-2-6) in the second semifinal contest at 3 p.m. Endicott shutout seventh seed Suffolk University 2-0 and UMB edged sixth seed Norwich University 3-2 in their quarterfinal contests on Wednesday.
Mahoney gave the Owls a 1-0 lead at the 35:08 mark of the first half. Controlling a loose ball on the right side, Mahoney made a nice cross-over move and buried the ball into the top right corner of the net.
The Golden Bears tied the score with their first shot on goal. Settling the ball on the left wing, freshman forward Nina Vital (Ludlow, Mass.) fired a shot into the top corner of the net for her eighth goal of the season.
WNEC freshman goalie Victoria Trezise (Islip, N.Y.) kept it a tie game with a couple of big saves before the end of the half. She punched out a free kick shot from sophomore forward Joan Hamel (Weare, N.H.) and later, following a free kick by junior back Bridget Hennessey (Essex Junction, Vt.) made a diving save on a header by Hamel with a minute to play before halftime.
Senior forward Katie Bradford (Lebanon, N.H.) scored the go-ahead goal for the Owls six minutes into the second half. After Hennessey's free kick hit the cross bar, Bradford tipped the rebound past Treziese for her team-leading 18th goal of the season.
Mahoney scored her second goal of the game and the fourth of the season at the 70:53 mark of the second half when she took a lead pass from junior back Melissa Dempsey (East Weymouth, Mass.) and put the ball into the far corner.
"It took us a little while to get going, but once started talking and playing the ball wide we played a lot better," said Mahoney. "It was definitely disappointing not winning the Little East Tournament, but we want to end our season by winning the ECAC Championship."
Keene State outshot WNEC 23-5 and had a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Junior Meghan Dempsey (East Weymouth, Mass.) finished the game with three saves. Trezise stopped 10 shots for Western New England, who conclude their season with a 13-9 record.
Keene State is looking for its third Division III ECAC New England crown. The defending champion Owls also won the title in 2005.