Women's Soccer Faces Thomas, UMaine-Farmington on Road

Women's Soccer Faces Thomas, UMaine-Farmington on Road

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton women's soccer team is set to travel to Maine for North Atlantic Conference matchups against Thomas (2-8, 1-3 NAC) and UMaine-Farmington (5-5, 2-1 NAC) over the weekend.

Castleton will square off with Thomas at 1 p.m. on Saturday, before facing UMaine-Farmington at 12 p.m. on Sunday. The two road games mark the final time Castleton sets out on the road this season as the Spartans wrap up their regular season with five straight home contests.

The Spartans are coming off a tough weekend that saw a 2-1, overtime loss to Colby-Sawyer and a 5-0 defeat at No. 4 Williams. Rylee Nichols scored the lone Spartan goal that gave her team an early lead against Colby-Sawyer but the Chargers fought back and answered with the game-winner with less than four minutes remaining in the first extra period.

Nichols leads the team with seven goals and 15 points on the season. 11 of her points have come in NAC matchups as she ranks atop the squad with five goals in four starts against conference foes. Makenzi Bellando follows closely with 14 points on six goals and two assists, while Julia Carone and Bronwen Hopwood have each recorded eight points on two goals and an assist. The Spartans are averaging 2.64 goals per game on offense, good for fourth in the conference.

Defensively, Castleton ranks second in the NAC with a 1.58 goals-against average. After making an early transition to goalkeeper, Kiley Baran has been stellar with 30 saves and one shutout in seven starts. Baran is 4-3 with a .789 save percentage and a 1.16 goals-against average. Freshman Rachel Shambo has also seen action in goal as she sports a .750 save percentage with 21 saves in four games played.

Thomas has hit a rough stretch with respective losses to Bates and UMaine-Farmington last week, 6-1 and 5-0. The Terriers defeated Johnson State, 3-1, in late September to mark their only conference victory thus far this season.

Offensively, Thomas has struggled as it holds a 0.90 goals per game average with nine tallies in 10 games. Molly Carroll leads the way with four points on two goals. Carroll netted the lone goal in the Terriers' loss to Bates. Taznae Fubler and Taylor Peno have each recorded three points on a goal and an assist.

Defensively, two goalkeepers have split time thus far for the Terriers. Kayla Gordon is 0-6 in six starts with 56 saves and a .709 save percentage. Nikki Bradstreet has made four starts and is 2-2 with a .692 save percentage in 338 minutes.

The two teams last met Oct. 9, 2016, with Castleton coming out victorious, 4-0. The Spartans have blanked the Terriers in six straight games.

UMaine-Farmington is coming off a 2-1 win over Southern Maine on Wednesday and will host Green Mountain Saturday before welcoming the Spartans on Sunday.

The Beavers are averaging 2.50 goals per game on offense, good for fifth in the conference. Three players have contributed most of the damage, led by McKenna Brodeur, who ranks tied for third in the NAC with 25 points on nine goals and seven assists. She has taken 59 total shots, the third most in the league. Kaiti Kinney is second on the squad with 15 points on six goals and three assists, while Lydia Roy has 13 points on five goals and three assists. The trio has combined for 29 of the team's 36 total points in conference matchups this season.

Defensively, Kiana Thompson has started every game in goal and is 4-5 with two shutouts and 64 saves. Thompson has a 2.33 goals-against average to go with her .753 overall save percentage. She has made nine saves and allowed two goals in three starts against conference opponents, good for a 0.76 goals-against average and .818 save percentage in those games.

Castleton has dominated the head-to-head matchup in recent years, outscoring the Beavers, 12-1, over the last three seasons. The two teams last met Oct. 8, 2016, with Castleton earning a 5-0 victory at Spartan Stadium.