Warriors remains unbeaten in LEC by scoring first five goals in 6-2 win
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Senior forward Nicole Gaudette (Colchester) and junior midfielder Sarah Swann (Oxford) each had two goals and an assist as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team maintained a share of first place in the Little East Conference with a 6-2 victory over Rhode Island College Saturday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.
With the win, Eastern (9-4-1, 5-0-1 little east) keeps pace atop the conference with defending champion Western Connecticut State University, which blanked visiting University of Southern Maine, 3-0, Saturday for its fifth win in conference play against a tie. Eastern and Western played to a scoreless overtime draw October 13 at Nevers Field.
In their LEC regular-season finales Nov. 1, Eastern visits Massachusetts Dartmouth and Western visits Keene State. UMass Dartmouth is 2-2-2 in the conference and Keene State 5-1-0. A Keene win over Western and an Eastern win over UMass Dartmouth gives the Warriors their third regular-season LEC title in six years.
Gaudette scored her eighth and ninth goals of the season to give the Warriors a 2-0 halftime lead against Rhode Island (1-15-1, 0-5-1 little east) and Swann sandwiched two second-half goals around one from senior forward Meghan Ryczek (East Haddam) to provide Eastern with a 5-0 cushion en route to their fifth home win against a tie. The Anchorwomen cored twice in a little more than three minutes late in the match against sophomore reserve keeper Caitlin Cravens (Ellsworth, ME), who was making her third career appearance.
Gaudette scored both of her goals on hard linedrive shots inside the box, while Swann converted a penalty kick for her first goal two minutes into the second half after she was taken down making a run in close. Gaudette worked a give-and-go with Ryczek for the second goal, taking a return pass and dribbling down the middle of the box past Rhode Island freshman back Claire Harris.
Swann's second goal was a one-timer and came on a pass from Ryczek. It was scored into an open net when Rhode Island sophomore keeper Maddie Pirri came off her line.
Eastern sophomore reserve forward Alicia DeMaio (Vernon) scored her first collegiate goal on her first shot inside the final four minutes.
Gaudette leads Eastern with nine goals, seven assists and 25 points, while Ryczek has seven goals, three assists 17 points and Swann six goals, four assists and 16 points.
Ryczek finished with a goal and two assists. Ryczek, Gaudette and midfielder Christa Eadie (Clinton) were recognized before the game on Seniors' Day.
Eastern closes out its home season Tuesday by hosting Wesleyan University at 3 p.m.
Eastern Conn. 6, Rhode Island College 2
R.I. College (1-15-1, 0-5-1 little east) 0 2 -- 2
Eastern Conn. (9-4-1, 5-0-1 little east) 2 4 -- 6
Scoring: E-Nicole Gaudette (Christine Lemieux) 2:07; E-Gaudette (Meghan Ryczek) 38:42; E-Sarah Swann (penalty kick) 47:05; E-Ryczek (Swann, Gaudette) 50;42; E-Swann (Ryczek) 59:03; R-Kayla Fleming (VanessaDiDomenico) 78:23; R-Christina Tavana (Chelsea Creamer) 81:48; E-Alicia DeMaio (Lauren Greeney) 86:34.
Shots: R-8, E-19; Saves: R-Maddie Pirri 8, E-Kim Church 2 (0 goals allowed, 61:38), Caitlin Cravens 1 (2, 28:22). Corner kicks: R-2, E-6.