Strong First Half Propels Women's Soccer to 4-0 Win at Thomas

Strong First Half Propels Women's Soccer to 4-0 Win at Thomas

WATERVILLE, Maine – The Castleton women's soccer team netted three first-half goals and paced to a convincing 4-0 win over Thomas in a North Atlantic Conference matchup Saturday afternoon at Smith Field.

With the win, Castleton improved to 5-6-1 overall and 4-1 in the NAC. Thomas fell to 2-9 on the season and 1-4 in conference play with the loss.

Rylee Nichols gave Castleton an early lead with the first goal of the match in the 18th minute. The freshman settled a cross into the box from Kaitie Sanders and beat the Thomas goalkeeper to give the Spartans a 1-0 advantage. Minutes later, Julia Carone stretched the Spartan lead to two goals after receiving a pass from Bronwen Hopwood and going untouched through the Terriers' defense in the 21st minute. With heavy pressure in the offensive zone throughout the match, Hopwood set up another goal as Nichols finished her cross in the 28th minute to give the Spartans a 3-0 advantage at the half. 

The Spartans continued to press in the second stanza with 16 more shots. Aubra Linn found the back of the net as she one-touched a cross from Makenzi Bellando inside the left post to extend Castleton's lead to 4-0, which proved to be the final. 

Kiley Baran and Rachel Shambo each played a half and registered one save apiece. Baran earned the win by holding the Terriers off the board over the first 45 minutes of action.

Castleton's offense was dominant throughout the match as it outshot Thomas, 35-2, including 14-2 on goal. The Spartans held an advantage in corner kicks, 12-2, while fouls were 7-3 in favor of Castleton.

The Spartans will look to continue their strong conference play when they travel to UMaine-Farmington on Sunday to face the Beavers at 12 p.m.