WORCESTER -- Caitlin Bonavita (Wilbraham, MA) deposited a free kick by Grace Casey (Winchester, MA) in the near corner of the net in the 82nd minute to propel the WPI women's soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 victory over visiting UMass Boston in a non-conference women's soccer contest played Monday evening.
With the win, the Engineers see their record level at 4-4-1 on the season while the Beacons fall to 1-6-2 overall.
After a UMass Boston foul, Casey served the ensuing restart to just in front of the near post where in was tapped into the goal by Bonavita at 81:07 for the senior's second goal of 2022.
The match, which started over an hour late due to a thunderstorm that hit Worcester just before kickoff, marked the beginning of WPI women's soccer's push to raise awareness for colorectal cancer. The Engineers wore blue shirts in program and will be selling them with proceeds going to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The drive will culminate on October 15th when all NEWMAC women's soccer team will dedicate this game date to show support for the WPI Soccer family. To order t-shirts and support WPI Women's Soccer, click the link at @wpiwomenssoccer's profile on Instagram!
When the action started, Bonavita nearly scored in the fifth minute but her shot hit the cross bar. UMB has its best opportunity midway through the opening stanza as Callia Eaton (Mashpee, MA) ripped a shot that sailed just high. The Engineers nearly took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at the intermission only to see Hannah Wolfgang's (Holliston, MA) shot from the 10-yard line stopped by Beacons netminder Maria Spylios (Leominster, MA).
The Crimson and Gray saw goalkeepers Kelsey Leach (Tolland, CT) and Lili Hellerman (Ashland, MA) each play a half in net with both recording a save and Hellerman credited with the victory. Spylios was outstanding in net for the visitors, recording 13 saves on the night.
WPI held a 21-7 edge in shots with Bonavita leading the way with five and Lilly Proulx (New Boston, NH), and Allison Escott (Columbia, CT) both adding two. Easton, Kelly McNeil (Marshfield, MA) and Ailaina Keely (Biddeford, ME) all tallied multiple shots for UMB. The hosts attempted eight of the match's 10 corners, including all seven of the second half.
Both teams turn their attention back to conference play with UMass Boston traveling to Gorham, Maine Wednesday for a 7pm Little East contest versus Southern Maine while WPI makes the short trek down Park Ave. to face NEWMAC rival Clark at 1pm on Saturday.
Majority of release written by WPI Sports Information student assistant Maya Vartabedian.