CASTLETON, Vt. – Makenzi Bellando's goal in the fifth minute set the pace as the Castleton University women's soccer team defeated the MCLA Trailblazers – 5-0 – on Wednesday afternoon at Dave Wolk Stadium.
The Spartans improve to 2-3-0 overall, while the Trailblazers fall to 1-3-0.
Leading 1-0 at the 16:23 mark, Bellando lofted a cross from the right side of the goal. Meeting the ball in front, Rylee Nichols headed it past the opposing keeper on her right side.
Just three minutes later, Nichols added her second score of the match and third of the year. The sophomore took the ball herself from the 30-yard line dribbling toward the box. Reaching the 17-yard line, Nichols fired, lacing the ball across the front of the goal and just inside the right post.
Leading 3-0, the Spartans found the netting again. Natasha Silva added the first goal of her career as she dangled with the ball before slipping it through the MCLA defender's legs to herself. The freshman forward proceeded to rip it off of her left foot toward the middle of the goal.
Castleton took 23 shots in the contest, including 14 after flipping the script to the second half. The Spartans took five corner kicks as opposed to MCLA's one, while the two squads each committed five fouls.
Exiting the locker room, the Spartans and Trailblazers stymied each other, as neither side was able to capitalize.
Advancing to the 55th minute, Bronwen Hopwood attempted to take the ball into the 18-yard box before getting tripped up and subsequently being awarded a penalty shot. The senior forward executed on the opportunity, flipping the ball over the goalie's head, just beneath the crossbar.
Earlier in the contest, Bellando scored her first goal of the year off of a turnover. The MCLA defender lost control of the ball in the box where the former jumped on the chance and put it away.
Loren Henderson earned the win in the goal for the Spartans (2-3-0), facing one shot and making the save in 45 minutes of play. Allison Chadwick came on during the second half and completed the match without facing a shot.
Women's soccer returns to the pitch at 12 p.m. on Saturday as they travel to Danbury, Conn. to take on Western Connecticut State in their Little East Conference opener.
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