BOSTON, Mass. – In a contest as close as the regular season meeting between the conference rivals, Emmanuel College was able to execute one set piece midway through the second half, and that was enough to defeat Regis College, 1-0, Friday night in a quarterfinal match of the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Soccer Tournament at Roberto Clemente Field.
The first half remained scoreless thanks in part to the efforts of the two goalkeepers, as Regis goalie Oriana Attridge (Westwood, Mass.) made three saves, all in the span of less than seven minutes early in the half. Meanwhile, Emmanuel keeper Lexi Gawron earned four saves in the first half, three of them off shots by Emily Lange (Ashland, Mass.).
Emmanuel (14-5) increased its offensive pressure in the second half, eventually creating a corner kick opportunity in the 66th minute. Emma Johnson started the play by sending the ball into the box, where it eventually found the feet of Kaylin Deschenes. Deschenes fed Bailey Maurer, who converted on her shot for the Saints' goal.
The Saints had another corner kick opportunity three minutes later, with Johnson finding Natalie Dash, but Dash's shot was saved by Attridge. Kayla Generis came close to converting on a shot from the right side of the box in the 72nd minute, but the ball rolled wide of the net, keeping the Pride within one goal.
Regis's best chance to tie the game came in the 83rd minute on a rush towards the Saint defensive end. Noelle Garcia (Los Angeles, Calif.) sent a long pass to the left side of the box, where Emma Mendes (Pawtucket, R.I.) was able to track it down. Mendes's crossing pass found Rachel Kelly (Whitman, Mass.), but Gawron stopped Kelly's shot before it entered the net, preserving the shutout.
Thanks to a 7-2 shot advantage in the second half, Emmanuel outshot Regis in the match, 12-6. Attridge finished with five saves, while Gawron made six saves in the winning effort. The fourth-seeded Saints advance to the GNAC Tournament semifinals, where they will face top seed Lasell, a 2-1 overtime winner over St. Joseph earlier Friday.
Regis sees its 2018 season end with a 10-7 overall record. With just two seniors lost to graduation, an experienced squad is expected back for the Pride next year.