CASTLETON, Vt. – Freshman Tatum Shappy scored in the 81st minute to break the scoreless tie and lead the Castleton University women's soccer team to victory over UMass Dartmouth in the regular season finale and Senior Day on Saturday evening.
The Spartans finish the regular season at 9-9-0 and 4-4-0 in LEC play. Castleton claimed the sixth seed in the upcoming Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament despite finishing the regular season in a tie for fifth. The Spartans will travel to third-seeded Keene State on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Tickets for Tuesday's quarterfinal match can be purchased here.
Castleton upended Keene State 3-0 at home on September 14 to kick off conference play. The Owls finished with a record of 10-8-0 (5-3-0 LEC), but won seven of their final eight contests.
Shappy's eighth goal of the year was also her team-leading fourth game-winning goal. She took advantage of a UMass Dartmouth turnover deep in Corsair territory and fired a right-footed shot inside the left post and into the side netting.
UMass Dartmouth had the better of play early on, but could not break the Spartan defense, led by Loren Henderson – who finished the contest with seven saves including a couple of key stops to keep the visitors off the board. The shutout was her fifth of the season. She's surrendered just one goal over her past seven halves played.
It was all Spartans in the closing 45 with an 18-8 advantage in shots and a heavy edge in possession time, but the Corsairs kept it scoreless until Shappy finally broke through. Makenzi Bellando took a penalty kick for the Spartans but UMass Dartmouth keeper Katherine Hubbard was there for the stop, one of 10 she made in relief in the second half. Rylee Nichols also had a point-blank chance to get the Spartans on the board in the second half, but Hubbard stood tall to keep it out.
The Corsair's had a multitude of scoring chances of their own, but Henderson stepped up to preserve the clean sheet. Ella Rath was the most active Corsair with eight total shot attempts, including a corner kick – one of seven that she took – that nearly curled in.
The winner of the Keene State versus Castleton first round match will travel to second-seeded Western Connecticut State on Thursday.