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Springfield, Westfield State Prevail in Opening Night of Springfield College Invitational

Erica Donnelly Westfield/UNE Box Score

Springfield/Eastern Nazarene Box Score

Springfield, Mass. -- August 31, 2012 -- The Springfield College and Westfield State University women's soccer teams captured victories in their season openers in the Springfield College Invitational this evening at SC's Brock-Affleck Field at the Irv Schmid Sports Complex.

For the home team, the Pride did not allow a shot on goal as SC defeated Eastern Nazarene, 3-0.

For the Owls from nearby Westfield State, the victory was of a different sort. WSU rallied from a goal down to score twice in the final nine minutes to defeat the University of New England, 2-1. The Owls scored the winning marker with just 2:04 remaining in regulation.

Westfield State 2, Univ. of New England 1
In the first game of the tournament, which began as the sun was getting low in the sky at 5 pm, the Nor'easters from Maine surprised the Owls with one of their few shots of the game at the 13:08 mark of the first half. Jackie Dickerson, a freshman forward from Windham, N.H., slipped in a shot from just to the right of the goalmouth past junior goalkeeper Jess Habif (Holliston, Mass.), making it 1-0, UNE.

The Owls maintained more control for the remainder of the contest.

In the second half, WSU's dominance finally paid off as Brittanie McGregor, a senior from nearby Ludlow, Mass., beat junior goalkeeper Gina Iannazzi (Methuen, Mass.) with 9:15 remaining. Senior forward Kayley Miller, also from Ludlow, had the assist. Not long thereafter, it was Miller who deposited the winning goal, unassisted, with 2:04 left.

It was a special moment for Westfield State coach Todd Ditmar, who just began his eighth year as the head mentor, as he became the soccer program's all-time winningest coach. He now owns a 69-51-10 overall mark. Ditmar surpassed WSU coach Bob Harrington, who finished with a mark of 68-50-8 from 1983-90.

Westfield State will now play Eastern Nazarene at 5 pm Saturday, while UNE will play Springfield at 7:15 pm.

Springfield 3, Eastern Nazarene 0
In game #2 of the day, played in a fairly cool evening, the hosts from Springfield pretty much dominated the Lions of Eastern Nazarene, winning 3-0, and not allowing a shot on net..

The Pride scored one goal in the first half, with junior midfielder Breena Salwocki (Newington, Conn.) taking the honors with the game-winner. The goal was unassisted as Salwocki picked up a loose ball and rifled home a shot from about 20 yards straightaway.

SC then tallied twice in short order at the beginning stages of the second half. That two-goal power surge began with junior forward Nina Vital (Ludlow, Mass.) scoring first with 38:03 left. That goal was assisted by senior forward Erica Donnelly (Weymouth, Mass.).

Just 1:18 later, freshman midfielder Jessica Miller (Southbury, Conn.) found the back of the net. The time was listed as 36:45 remaining.

After that, the Pride substituted liberally. Senior goalkeeper Erin Greenstein (Framingham, Mass.) was credited with the win, although she was not forced to make a save.

For Eastern Nazarene, freshman Kristin Farley (Westminster, Mass.) made two saves in the first, while sophomore Rachel Henry (Lowell, Mass.) had four saves in the second half. SC outshot the Lions, 11-0.

Springfield will play UNE at 7:15 Saturday at Brock-Affleck Field. Eastern Nazarene will take on Westfield State at 5 pm.

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Head Coach John Gibson

John Gibson John Gibson, a native of London, England, enters his 14th season as head women's soccer at Springfield College in the fall of 2013. Gibson has led the Pride to the NCAA Tournament in six of the last eight years and has established the Pride as one of the top programs in the country. His clubs have registered an impressive a 165-75-21 record. Read more.

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