MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Senior midfielder Hannah Goodale (Coventry) scored her first goal of the season with a low drive from 22 yards six minutes into the second half to keep the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team unbeaten at home this year with a 1-0 non-conference victory over Western New England University Wednesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
Goodale, who has spent the majority of this season on defense, beat WNEU senior keeper Marissa Veilleux with her only shot of the match in the 52nd minute. On the goal, a long ball was played out of the back to senior forward Anna Manser (Manchester) in front of the Eastern bench. Manser played it ahead with a short pass to senior forward Nikki Basilicato (Guilford) along the side line to junior midfielder Stephanie Sanchez (Manchester). Sanchez made a quick one-touch pass to Goodale, who took several long strides and fired a low shot to Veilleux's right inside the left post. The assist was the first in the career of Sanchez.
Now 6-0 all-time against WNEU (8-7-1) with its fourth straight shutout against the Golden Bears, Eastern (9-5-0) substituted liberally throughout in anticipation of Saturday's key Little East Conference home match against the University of Southern Maine.
Neither team threatened in the first half, with Goodale's scoring drive early in the second half the first substantial attempt by either team. Western New England had several bids to tie the match in the second half but could not break through against sophomore keeper Rachel Videira (Oxford), who made one save for her first win of the season, second of her career in five appearances off the bench. Videira replaced senior starter Kayla Labrecque (Westhampton, MA) to start the second half. Labrecque did not make a save in a scoreless first half.
Two of the Golden Bears' best chances came a minute apart midway through the second half. The first one came on long cross from the right that eluded Videira's dive but carried just wide of the left post. A minute later, Videira smothered a low drive by junior defender Amanda Gagnon from the right side. Western New England's most dangerous attempt came with 6:40 left, when Gagnon again unloaded from the right side but with Videira off her line and the goal open, but the ball travelled wide left.
Eastern held a 12-8 edge in shots, with junior Alex Lemekha making three saves for WNEU in the first half and Veilleux one in the second.
A win in Saturday's regular-season home-finale would give Eastern a team record for regular-season home wins (8) without a loss. Eastern has outscored its opponent 17-1 at home.