Women's Soccer: Behind Clarke's Early Second-Half Goal, Warriors Solve Elms

Women's Soccer: Behind Clarke's Early Second-Half Goal, Warriors Solve Elms

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University ended over 135 minutes of scoring frustration at the hands of Elms College, breaking from a scoreless halftime to post a 3-0 non-conference victory Wednesday in its  home-opener at Thomas Nevers Field.

After breezing past Elms (1-1-1) by a combined 11-1 scoring margin in the first five matches of the series, Eastern (2-1-0) was shut out by goalkeeper Rebecca Molin a year ago, 1-0, and was held scoreless by the junior keeper through the first half Wednesday.

Last year's team scoring leader, senior Aly Clarke (Mystic) changed the tide 34 seconds into the second half, however, knocking in a pretty crossing pass from senior Alissa Beedle (Bethany), senior Linnea Reich (Middlebury) made it 2-0 when she beat Molin with a penalty kick midway through the period, and junior Stephanie Sanchez (Manchester) broke into the career scoring column with 14 minutes left for a goal set up by senior Nikki Basilicato (Guilford) to ice the victory.

Providing second-half relief in place of senior starter Kayla Labrecque (Westhampton, MA), junior Erin Collins (Millis, MA) was credited with her first career victory in net. Each keeper made one save. Morin, who turned back 11 shots in last year's home shutout over Eastern, stopped seven shots.

The Warriors outshot the Blazers, 19-5, and the Eastern defense prevented any corner kicks.

Eastern hosts Babson College Saturday at 1 p.m. at Nevers Field. The meeting will be the first between the programs in 17 seasons.