Women's Soccer Sees Season Ended by PKs in NEWMAC Quarterfinals Against Springfield

Julia Macleod

Springfield, MA --- Junior midfielder Julia Cormier's (New Bedford, MA) conversion in the fifth round of a penalty kick shootout helped the Springfield women's soccer program move past WPI and on to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinals after the two teams played to 1-1 overtime draw on Tuesday night at Brock-Affleck Field.

Springfield, which was the No. 4 seed heading into the NEWMAC Tournament, is now 11-5-3 on the season, and will advance to play top-seeded MIT on Saturday, November 7 at 10:30 a.m. at Steinbrenner Stadium. WPI, the fifth seed heading into tonight's match, closes its season with an overall record of 11-5-3.   The 11 wins by the Engineers equal the school's single season best (2001).

Sophomore goalkeeper Ciara Boucher (Manchester, CT) finished the contest with three saves, while for the Engineers, Gabi Hoops (Stonington, CT) registered 10 stops.

Less than 10 minutes into the game, WPI's Emily Doherty (Shrewsbury, MS) looked to put the Engineers up 1-0 when Boucher misplayed a ball in front, but after the ball got by the Pride's defense, Boucher sprinted from the goal and attempted to coral the ball just inside the 18-yard box. Doherty was able to sneak the ball away from Boucher, and appeared to have an open shot at the net, before Boucher lept from behind and managed to knock the ball off the foot of Doherty and away harmlessly to a Springfield defender.

Springfield went up 1-0 in the 25th minute when senior forward Nicole Fowler (Hudson, MA) sent a flip throw-in in front of the net. Jessica Miller (Southbury, CT) headed the ball softly over the outstretched hands of Hoops and in to the back of the net for the first half lead.

Springfield had a chance to extend the lead late in the first half, as freshman Amanda Wright (Pittsfield, MA) spun free from a defender but Mikaela Coady (Middletown, CT) was barely offside on a lead pass with no defenders in front of her.

WPI knotted the game at one in the 61st minute on a penalty kick from Doherty, as the senior was tripped up inside the box by a Springfield defender, before softly rolling the tying goal into the left side of the net. With a minute to go in the second over time period, WPI appeared to have the game-winning goal, after an Engineer attacker maneuvered Boucher out of the net, a shot on net was deflected away by Monson forcing the shootout. 

In the penalty kick shoot-out, junior Elizabeth Monsen (Wayne, NJ) stepped up and netted her chance, before Boucher made a stop on Doherty to give the Pride a 1-0 advantage. In the second round, freshman Aly Morrell (New Britain, CT), converted her shot, while Julia Macleod (Medway, MA) also scored to make it 2-1. A Hoops save and a make from Kara Martin (North Hampton, NH) evened the shootout at two apiece. Following a conversion for Fowler, Boucher came up huge again as she stuffed Jaime Espinola (Greensboro, NC), setting up Cormier's game-clincher.

"It was a emotional ending tonight against a tough Springfield team," remarked WPI head coach Steph Schafer. "Our players played their hearts out. I am beyond proud of the work this group did this season, every day they showed up ready to push themselves beyond their limits. Our seniors were our backbone and their leadership, dedication and passion will be missed next season. I can't thank them enough for their efforts in making this season and this program a successful one."

Doherty's marker added to her single season school record for goals (18) and points (41).  The forward concludes her standout career with 37 goals (second all-time) and 87 points (third all-time).

Majority of Release Courtesy Springfield Sports Information