WORCESTER, Mass., September 22, 2006 - Springfield College freshman midfielder Jillian Pereira (East Providence, R.I.) scored her first career collegiate goal in the 70th minute of action (69:18) to break a 1-1 tie as the Pride edged host Clark University, 2-1, this evening in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both schools.
With the win, SC improves to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the NEWMAC, while the Cougars fall to 1-6 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
Clark opened the scoring in the match, as Lorna Lunney blasted a free kick that deflected of a Pride defender and found the back of the net in the 21st minute (20:30). The Cougars went into halftime with the one-goal advantage.
SC finally broke through and scored twice within a five-minute span in the second stanza. Senior co-captain Michelle Bongiovanni (West Springfield, Mass.) crossed the ball in front of the Clark goal where senior midfielder Jessica Denehy (Whately, Mass.) tapped it in for the equalizer in the 66th minute of play (65:26). The goal was Denehy's second of the season, as Bongiovanni was credited with her second assist of the year.
The game-winning tally, scored by Pereira, came when the first-year caught a rebound off a corner kick to give the Pride a 2-1 lead, a lead in which it would never relinquish. Sophomore goalkeeper Sue Jenney (Agawam, Mass.) made three saves in the match as she improved her overall record to 3-1 on the season.
SC will next travel to New London, Conn., to face the Coast Guard Academy on Friday night, September 29th, in a 7:00 p.m. NEWMAC contest.