Women's Soccer Blanks Johnson State, 4-0

Women's Soccer Blanks Johnson State, 4-0

CASTLETON, Vt. – Four different players found the back of the net and Kiley Baran made three saves in goal as the Castleton women's soccer team blanked Johnson State, 4-0, in a North Atlantic Conference matchup Tuesday afternoon at Spartan Stadium. 

With the win, Castleton improved to 7-7-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play. Johnson State, meanwhile, fell to 4-10 on the season and 0-8 in NAC action.

After a thrilling start that featured multiple strong saves on each end, Castleton broke through with less than five minutes remaining in the first half. Dallas Brodhead drove a right-footed shot from 20 yards out that pocketed inside the left post. Aubra Linn controlled possession down the right side and found her teammate at the top of the box for the one-touch goal to give Castleton a 1-0 advantage in the 41st minute.

Baran saved both shots on goal she faced in the first half, including one full-extension diving stop where she punched a shot from Kylie Aither just outside the left post. Kaila Lemmer was strong in goal for Johnson State, recording eight saves on nine shots in the first half. Rylee Nichols issued a header off a corner kick from Kaitie Sanders directly toward the back of the net but Lemmer quickly slid across the goal and tucked it away to keep the match 1-0 at the half.

Johnson State owned the first opportunity in the second half as Aither got a step behind the Spartan defense and closed on goal, but Baran was able to get her foot on it for the initial save. With the rebound directly in front, Katherine Fish looked for the empty-net goal but Sanders came across and made a defensive save to hold the Badgers off the board.

The Spartans responded in a big way, taking over control following the early second-half opportunity for the Badgers. Castleton went on to outshoot Johnson State, 17-0, the rest of the way with three goals to pull away. Julia Carone tipped a difficult-angled shot nearly from the goal line that rang off the crossbar and bounced in to give Castleton a 2-0 advantage in the 61st minute.

Moments later, Bronwen Hopwood stretched Castleton's lead to 3-0 as she raced toward the goal line, cut into the center, and fired home a shot top shelf in the 72nd minute. Makenzi Bellando forced a defensive turnover and capped the scoring with her seventh goal of the season in the 88th minute as Castleton went on to win, 4-0.

Baran finished with three saves in the match to pick up her third shutout of the season and improve to 7-3 overall. Lemmer made 13 saves in goal for Johnson State despite falling to 3-9 on the season.

Castleton held an advantage in shots, 35-5, including 17-4 on goal. Corner kicks finished 12-2 in favor of Castleton, while the Spartans committed three fouls to the Badgers' one.

The Spartans return to action Saturday when they host Maine Maritime in a NAC matchup at 12 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.