WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – All-Little East Conference senior midfielder Aly Clarke (Mystic) reached double figures in goals for the second straight season by scoring 13 minutes apart in the first half as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team set a program season record for home victories without a loss in a 4-0 conference win over the University of Southern Maine Saturday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.
Clarke, who led Eastern with ten goals as a junior, recorded her tenth and 11th of the season to lift Eastern (10-5-0, 5-2-0 LEC) to an early lead and the Warriors finished with an 8-0-0 home regular-season record. The wins equal the program regular-season home record and are the most without a loss in program history.
Eastern and Southern Maine (11-4-1, 4-3-0 LEC) entered play tied for second in the conference. With one LEC regular-season match remaining next Saturday at Rhode Island College, the three-time defending LEC regular-season Warriors share first place with Western Connecticut, but the Colonials were scheduled to visit UMass Dartmouth Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with a chance to earn the No. 1 seed in the LEC playoffs.
The Warriors finished the home regular season with seven shutouts and outscoring their opponent, 21-1.
Senior goalkeeper Kayla Labrecque (Westhampton, MA) made four saves to post her second shutout of the season. Southern Maine had brought a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) into play but dropped its 19th straight decision to Eastern.
At left: In the final regular-season home match of her career, senior keeper Kayla Labrecque posted her second full shutout of the season, 12th of her career. (Photo by Sara Pisanelli)
Clarke broke the scoreless tie Saturday in the 24th minute with her 20th career goal, the play set up by junior midfielder Linnea Reich (Middletown) and recorded her fourth multiple-goal game of the season (third in four games) 13 minutes later on a goal set up by senior midfielder Hannah Goodale (Coventry). Goodale made it 3-0 midway through the second half – Reich and senior midfielder Alissa Beedle (Bethany) setting her up – and freshman forward Carlie Dreyfus (Stafford Springs) gained credit for her first career point on her first career goal with under four minutes remaining on a pass from freshman midfielder Olivia Rovalino (Simsbury), who earned her first collegiate point, as well.
Eastern outshot the Huskies, 18-8, with senior keeper Taylor Canastra (Fairhaven, MA) making seven saves.
Prior to the match, the program recognized its eight outgoing seniors and their families: Nikki Basilicato (Guilford), Alissa Beedle (Bethany), Aly Clarke (Mystic), Hannah Goodale (Coventry), Kayla Labrecque (Westhampton, MA), Anna Manser (Manchester), Tara Shayler (Avon), and Lauren Valenti (Walpole, MA).
Eastern visits Trinity College Sunday at 2 p.m. in a non-conference match.