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Women's Soccer Claims ECAC Championship Over NYU in Penalty-Kick Shootout

Springfield, Mass. - November 20, 2016 - Finding the back of the net with 1:50 to play in regulation to even the game and one, and emerging from a penalty-kick shootout victorious, the Springfield College women's soccer program claimed the 2016 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Women's Soccer Championship over New York University on Sunday afternoon at Brock-Affleck Field.

Top-seeded Springfield College, which finishes the year with a record of 14-5-4, has now won either a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) or ECAC Championship in six of the last seven seasons. With the loss, the second-seeded Violets cap their season with a record of 13-3-6.

For her efforts throughout the entire tournament, junior goalkeeper Ciara Boucher (Manchester, Conn.) was named the ECAC Division III Women's Soccer Championship Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Additionally, Boucher, along with junior forward Kim Quiles (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), senior defender Brianna Messier (Hopedale, Mass.) and senior defender Jenacee Bradbury (South Portland, Maine) were named to the All-Tournament Team.

In between the pipes, Boucher made six stops to help lead her team to victory, and was especially impressive in the penalty-kick shootout, as she was able to keep NYU from finding the back of the net. Her counterpart, Cassie Steinberg (Boca Raton, Fla.) posted five saves in the setback. The Violets held a 13-10 shot advantage throughout the contest, including holding a 7-0 edge in the first half. The Pride allowed NYU just one shot in the overtime periods.

After a scoreless first half, it only took the Violets 5:37 into the second to get on the scoreboard, as the Pride committed a foul deep in its own territory, setting up a direct free kick for NYU. Freshman forward Alex Benedict (Avon, Conn.) stepped up and floated a ball into the box, before Ashlyn Krygowski (Dunstable, Mass.) came away with the loose ball and converted her chance to make it 1-0, with 39:23 to play.

Just under three minutes later, NYU had a chance at a second when Marquel Love (Gilroy, Calif.) carried the ball down the left flank, before kicking a pass out to Benedict, who set up Maddie Pena (Pasadena, Calif.) for a point-blank opportunity, but Boucher came up with a big save to keep the Violets' lead at one.

With under two minutes to play, Quiles drew an NYU foul deep in the Violets' own end, resulting in a direct free kick for Monsen. The senior pushed a ball deep past the net, but Messier rose above her defender and headed the ball back across the goal mouth and into the back of the net for the first time in her career to pull Springfield College even at one goal apiece just before the end of regulation.

With under 10 seconds to play in the first overtime period, Springfield College had a chance to finish off NYU when Quiles sent in a corner, which found the foot of Gabrielle Fernandes (North Smithfield, R.I.), who blasted a shot at the net. After Steinberg came up with the initial save, the ball rebounded to Mary Silva (Ludlow, Mass.), who had a point-blank chance, but her shot was blocked out-of-bounds as the clock ran out. 

With the game still tied at one at the end of 110 minutes, the two sides went into a penalty-kick shootout to determine the winner, with the Violets kicking first. In Round One, NYU's Julie Glover (Scotch Plains, N.J.) took the first kick, and missed wide left, before Monsen stepped up and converted her chance to give the Pride a 1-0 lead.

In Round Two, Lexi Clarke (Round Hill, Va.) was unable to beat Boucher, but Julia Cormier (New Bedford, Mass.) also missed to keep it a 1-0 advantage in favor of Springfield College. In the Third Round, NYU's Mimi Tran (Rocklin, Calif.) also missed the net, but the Pride's Elise Leavitt (Stratham, N.H.) was also unable to convert, sending the shootout into a fourth round.

With the Violet's fourth chance on the line, Benedict went high and right, but she was stuffed by Boucher, before Messier stepped up and drilled a shot into the bottom left corner to seal the victory for the Pride.

2016 ECAC Championship All-Tournament Team



Ciara Boucher*

Springfield College

Kim Quiles

Springfield College

Brianna Messier

Springfield College

Jenacee Bradbury

Springfield College

Dylan Shipe


Alex Benedict


Lexi Clarke


Brianna Christie


Sabrina Pascarella


Jordan Bronsky


Elena Guerra

Grove City

Jordyn White

Grove City


* Denotes Tournament's Most Outstanding Player