BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior forward Ashley Levya's (Walpole, Mass.) goal with 4:48 remaining in regulation lifted #3 seed Westfield State University to a 2-1 victory over #2 Bridgewater State University in the semifinal round of the 2018 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women's Soccer Tournament on Friday night at Swenson Field.
The Owls (9-6-3) advance to the MASCAC title game on Sunday and will host #4 Salem State University. Salem advanced on penalty kicks in its semifinal match against #1 Worcester State University. The Bears end the season with an overall record of 9-6-2.
Freshman forward Delaney Langton (Scituate, R.I.) staked the Bears to a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. Langton collected a crossing pass from junior forward Amelia Burke (Plymouth, Mass.) and drove a shot from the top of the six into the left side of the net for her fifth goal of the season
Senior defender Casey Rotti (Rutland, Mass.) knotted the score at 1-1 in the 27th minute as she one-timed a corner kick sent into the box by freshman midfielder Jenn Rennich (Bedford, Mass.). The scoring strike marked Rotti's fourth of the year.
Early in the second half, Westfield senior keeper Natalia Falcone (Sutton, Mass.) made a key stop on a point-blank range shot by BSU senior midfielder Nicole Simas (Dartmouth, Mass.).
Levya provide the late-game heroics less than five minutes after she had subbed back into the contest. Senior forward Nicole Chretien (North Attleboro, Mass.) started the play with a long sideline pass to Rennich who tapped the ball around a BSU defender, dribbled towards the net and served a cross to Levya who was left unattended near the top of the 18. Levya beat the Bridgewater netminder with a shot to the center of the cage for her fourth goal of 2018 campaign.
The Bears had a chance to tie the game with under two minutes remaining, but senior defender Caitlin Rowley's (Lakeville, Mass.) header off a Kassidy Campbell (Norton, Mass.) volley into the box struck the right post.
Westfield finished with a slight 15-14 shot advantage, while Bridgewater held a 5-4 edge in corner kick attempts.
Falcone made seven saves to record her eighth win of the season between the pipes. BSU junior goalkeeper Kellie Souza (Wilmington, Mass.) turned aside six shots in the setback.