KEENE, N.H. – The Castleton University women's soccer team scored three second-half goals to defeat third-seeded Keene State on the road, 4-2, in the Little East Conference (LEC) First Round on Tuesday.
The win is the first playoff victory in two tries for Castleton as a member of the LEC. The Spartans move on to play second-seeded Western Connecticut State on Thursday at 6 p.m. on the road for the LEC Semifinals.
After back-and-forth scoring over the first 78 minutes of play, freshman Tatum Shappy gave the Spartans the lead for good with a long-range strike over the leap of the Owl goalkeeper with 11:18 remaining in regulation.
The teams traded possession waves and scoring chances throughout the opening stages until the hosts broke through at the 23:57 mark on a Patricia Norton shot that got through Spartan keeper, Loren Henderson.
Nichols then took advantage of a Keene State turnover and gave the Spartans a 2-1 lead in the 55th minute when she flipped a shot across her body from the right side into the left-side netting.
The Owls scored the equalizer again in the 71st minute when the scrum following a free kick found Sarah Carron in the perfect position to pick off a clearance attempt and fire it into the back of the net.
Makenzi Bellando put the contest away with 31 seconds remaining in regulation when her free kick from the left side deflected off a white jersey and in.
Henderson made eight saves in the win, while Abbie Terrinca turned aside seven shots for Keene State as the Owls finish the season with a 10-8-0 record after going 5-3-0 in LEC play.
Elsewhere in the LEC Tournament, #4 Eastern Connecticut State took a 1-0 decision over #5 Plymouth State. The Warriors will travel to top-ranked UMass Boston on Thursday in the other semifinal matchup.