They are outshot 13-3 in non-conference loss at Salem State
SALEM, Mass. - Playing its fifth straight road game, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team took a lead into the final 11 minutes of the first half, but lost for the third time in its last four outings, 3-1, to Salem State University in a non-conference match Wednesday night at Alumni Field.
At left: Tamar Merheb
Eastern (4-3-0) scored first on senior midfielder Tamar Merheb's (Bethel) first goal of the season, but Salem (3-2-1) won its third straight, second in as many years over Eastern after the Warriors had captured three straight in the series.
Sophomore forward Kelly Birchmore tied the match for Salem with 10:30 left in the first half and the Vikings went ahead for good 11 minutes into the second half on the first senior forward Casey Connolly's first goal of the season. Freshman midfielder Victoria Clancy's first career goal iced the game when she laced in a shot from twenty yards out in the 78th minute.
The Vikings defense dominated play in the second half, limiting the Warriors to just one shot on net, while controlling play in their zone for most of the period. Birchmore almost set up another Salem State goal early in the second, on a corner, but Connolly's goal on a header was disallowed due to a foul. However, the captain made amends in the 56th minute when her first goal of the year gave the Vikings a 2-1 lead.
Making her fifth start of the year, Eastern junior Rachel Skelton (East Lyme) made two saves in sustaining her second straight loss after three wins. The Warriors were outshot 13-3.
Merheb had fought to corral a corner kick by sophomore back Maggie Sayers (Windsor Locks), and put it in the back of the net for Eastern's early 1-0 lead midway through the first half. Eleven minutes later, Birchmore chased down a ball from sophomore midfielder Amy Griffith and rocketed a shot past goalie Skelton to tie the match. Neither team could break the tie over the final 10:30 of the first half.
Since scoring six goals in two matches when they opened their season with two wins in the Warrior Classic, the Warriors have managed to total only three in their last five outings. In their four contests prior to Wednesday, Eastern had won two matches and lost two by scores of 1-0.
Eastern visits Keene State College Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.