PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Makenzi Bellando of the Castleton University women's soccer team has been named Little East Conference Offensive Women's Soccer Player of the Week as released by the conference office on Monday afternoon.
Bellando is coming off of a career week, scoring five goals and more importantly, leading the team to a 3-0 record, including two key Little East Conference victories. The performance is a close second to a five-goal performance – featuring a hat trick – in back-to-back games during her freshman campaign.
During the first match of the week against Plymouth State, Bellando notched an insurance score in the 37th minute with Castleton up 1-0. The extra cushion proved to be important, as Plymouth State sent out 14 shots, including several near misses in the second half.
Entering the weekend with the daunting task of reigning in the defending LEC regular-season champions and conference tournament runner-up, Eastern Connecticut State, Bellando helped rally a deflated Spartan squad.
Trailing 2-0 in the early going, the Carver, Massachusetts native, sparked a fire as she corralled a pass, took one step and beat the keeper on her right, slicing the deficit in half. From there Castleton completed the comeback, not once, but twice before Bellando scored the game-winning goal in overtime.
On Sunday against former conference opponent UMaine-Farmington, the junior midfielder scored the first and third goals of the game. Not only did she jumpstart the Spartan offense once more, but she later added the eventual deciding score to tally her second game-winner in as many days.
Bellando and the Spartans – winners of their last three games – look to continue the current momentum at 1 p.m. on Saturday as they travel to face league rival Keene State.
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