HARTFORD, Conn. – The Trinity College women's soccer team scored bookend goals in the first half on its first shot in the opening minutes and final shot of the half with seven seconds left in a 2-0 non-conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Wednesday afternoon.
Ranked seventh in New England, Trinity (8-1-2) won by shutout for the fourth straight time in extending its unbeaten streak to nine (8-0-1) while eighth-ranked Eastern had a six-match unbeaten (4-0-2) streak halted in its first game that did not extend into overtime in two weeks.
Trinity capitalized on its only two legitimate scoring chances in the first half, getting near-identical goals that were taken on the left side and which carried on the ground inside the right post just beyond the dive of Eastern sophomore keeper Kayla Labrecque (Westhampton, MA). Lacrecque was coming off consecutive overtime shutouts which had netted the Warriors a double-overtime tie with Endicott and 1-0 overtime Little East Conference overtime decision over Keene State College.
Sophomore Taylor Kirchgessner gave Trinity the lead less than three minutes into action with her team-leading seventh goal of the season and she assisted on freshman Katherine Marlow-Benedick's first career goal with seven seconds left in the first half by working a perfect give-and-go inside the box.
Eastern had the better of play throughout the match. The Warriors nearly tied the match midway through the first half when senior midfielder Hailey Lehning (Woodbury) ripped a shot which caromed off the crossbar. With Eastern still trailing by one goal, first-year sophomore Aly Clarke (Mystic) unloaded a drive headed for the upper 90 which was batted away by Trinity junior keeper Julia Pitino for one of her two saves in the match.
Eastern looked to cut the deficit in half midway through the second half when junior All-America defender Maggie Bodington (Stratford) took a long free kick headed toward the near post, but the play was whistled dead due to an Eastern pushing foul.
The loss to Trinity is Eastern's first in three years and gives the Bantams a slim 8-7-7 advantage in the all-time series.
Eastern returns to Little East Conference action Friday at 7 p.m. the University of Massachusetts Boston. A win would be the 200th in the 17th-year head coaching career of Chris D'Ambrosio.