MANSFIELD, Conn. -- The University of Massachusetts Boston broke a scoreless tie by scoring goals ten minutes apart early in the second half and the Beacons went on to their fifth straight win, a 2-0 Little East Conference women's soccer victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon at Rick McCarthy Field.
The shutout win is the second straight for UMass (8-2-0, 2-0-0 LEC) over Eastern (2-6-0, 1-1-0 LEC) but first ever over the Warriors on their home field. Eastern had come away with a 4-3 regular-season win at UMass Boston last year before the Beacons eliminated Eastern from the LEC playoffs with a 1-0 neutral-site victory. Eastern leads the all-time series 23-5-2.
Sophomore forward Grace Oliver (60th minute) and freshman forward Kaylee Haynes (70th) scored ten minutes apart Saturday and freshman keeper Maria Spylios made all three of her saves in the second half to record her fourth full shutout and the team's fifth overall this year. She lowered her goals-against average to 0.80.
Oliver scored her third goal of the season with an uncontested shot to the far corner of the goal from the left corner of the box for the first goal. Coming off the bench, Haynes connected on her only shot when she found a wide open left side of the cage on a rebound of a shot from sophomore forward Morgan Palma that was saved by Eastern senior keeper Erin Collins (Millis, MA).
Spylios had kept the game scoreless in the opening three minutes when she stuffed freshman midfielder Juliette Hogan (Preston) at the left post and turned away senior forward Stephanie Sanchez (Manchester) at the right post just moments before Oliver's goal. With UMB leading 1-0, Spylios against denied Sanchez at the right post 15 minutes into the second to stymie Eastern's final scoring bid.
Moments after Hogan's failed attempt in the opening minutes of the second half, Oliver sent a one-touch over the crossbar from the middle of the box, on a cross from the right, and the Beacons continued their early second-half pressure. With her best save, Collins (four saves) leaped to push a shot over the crossbar, and off the ensuing corner kick, sophomore forward Grace McGettrick knocked a header just over the cross bar.
Eastern hosts Rhode Island College Wednesday at 3 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.