MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior midfielder Seri Park's first goal of the season on the first shot of the match stood up and allowed the Smith College women's soccer team to end a four-match unbeaten streak, 1-0, over Eastern Connecticut State University Wednesday evening at Rick McCarthy Field at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
Park's header off junior forward Peyton McBride's cross from the right side in the 13th minute was enough to send Eastern (1-5-0) to its third shutout loss of the season in its home-opener. The meeting was the first in 28 years between the programs, with Smith (3-3-1) winning for the second straight time after losing a first-round matchup in the 1988 ECAC tournament.
Each team featured one offensive threat in Smith's McBride and Eastern sophomore midfielder Sierra DeCarli (Tolland), the latter playing 57 minutes off the bench. McBride recorded four of her team's six shots and DeCarli five of Eastern's 11, but both players managed to put just one of their shots on goal.
Despite making all seven starts in net, Smith sophomore Naomi Falkenberg (Sutton, MA) recorded only her second win of the year (against one loss). Falkenberg was credited with both of her team's saves over the first 45 minutes, while Noemi Howland, making her seventh appearance off the bench, did not face a shot.
Eastern opens its Little East Conference season Saturday at Massachusetts Dartmouth at 1 p.m.