CASTLETON, Vt. – Two first-half goals led the Castleton University women's soccer team past Little East Conference rival Plymouth State 2-0 on Wednesday evening at Dave Wolk Stadium.
Castleton earns its second league match win, improving to 2-3-0 in the Little East and to 4-10-0 overall. Plymouth State falls to 6-4-2 overall and 2-4-0 in conference play.
A tale of two halves, the Spartans sprinted out to a 2-0 lead with offensive-minded play throughout the first 45. Following the halftime break, Castleton continued to attack, but shifted focus toward its defense, keeping Plymouth State off the board.
Spartan keeper Loren Henderson earned the win while playing all 90 minutes once again. She made eight saves, including a diving stop late to preserve the shutout. Panther netminder Cat Robbins was tagged with the loss despite making four saves while also playing the entire match.
In the 14th minute, Castleton got on the board as Bronwen Hopwood found Nichols near the center of the field. Hopwood stopped a loose rolling ball and quickly passed it to the sophomore forward. Nichols took the pass from the far side and without hesitation turned a fired from the 23-yard line, sailing the ball over the keeper's head in the upper right 90.
Once again tying for the team-lead in goals – with Nichols – Bellando scored her fifth tally of the year in the 37th minute. Playing right back, Krista Girroir sent the ball from deep in the Spartan defensive zone to the 20-yard line. Jumping for the ball, Bellando and a Panther defender both missed, while the former chased down the pass, collected herself and sent the ball past the keeper on the right.
Castleton and Plymouth State went back-and-forth throughout, nearly splitting the shot total evenly as the Spartans took 15 to 14 for the Panthers. Meanwhile, Plymouth State managed seven corner kicks to one for the home team.
The Spartans return to action at home as they host LEC opponent Eastern Connecticut State at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Plymouth State also returns home, as it will face UMass-Boston in league action at 1 p.m.
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