MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore midfielder Bella Patino and senior forward Mia Santana scored goals 16 minutes apart in the first half and the Connecticut College defense denied Eastern Connecticut State University a shot in the Camels' 3-0 non-conference women's soccer victory Tuesday afternoon at Rick McCarthy Field.
Conn College (8-2-0) is ranked sixth in New England and 'also received votes' in the most recent USC national poll (released today) after a No. 25 national ranking a week ago. Conn's two losses have come against Middlebury College (No. 1 in New England/No. 2 nationally) and Williams College (5/24).
Eastern (4-7-0), which had won its last two matches, had not given up more than two goals in any of its last eight matches. Conn won for the fourth straight time over Eastern, third straight by shutout.
Eastern junior goalkeeper Alexis Tyrrell (Torrington), who joined the team yesterday after senior keeper Erin Collins (Millis, MA) broke her finger in Saturday's shutout at the University of Southern Maine, made seven saves in her first collegiate game. In addition to the saves, she broke up a number of crossing passes and serves into the box by coming off her line and punching the ball away.
Terrell made two saves in the opening 15 minutes on a hard drive directly at her by freshman forward Mya Johnson and on a free kick by Patino that she leaped to grab.
The Camels finally broke through in the 24th minute when Eastern was unable to clear a ball sent in, and Patino was there to volley a shot from outside the box that hit in front of Tyrrell, who got two hands on but was unable to control. The ball bounded high behind the keeper and landed over the goal line for Patino's first goal of the year.
Fifteen minutes later, sophomore defender Marielle McEnaney sent a crossing past from the left corner directly across the front of the goal. Tyrrell dove and got a hand on it, but the ball went to Santana, who one-timed it from the middle of the box to make it 2-0. It was her first goal of the season, as well.
Tyrrell kept it a two-goal match at that point when she jumped to grab Patino's serve into the box on a free kick seven minutes before halftime.
Johnson recorded her team-leading seventh goal of the season 15 minutes into the second half to round out the scoring.
Tyrrell avoided further damage two minutes after Johnson's goal when she denied Johnson's bullet from the left side by diving and knocking the ball away at the left post. Johnson alone forced Tyrrell to make four saves in leading the Camels' 16-shot performance.
Three Conn keepers had a leisurely afternoon in combining on the shutout. Junior Katy Pelletier worked the first half to gain her seventh win in nine decisions.
Eastern visits Keene State College in a Little East Conference match Saturday at 1 p.m.