DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Butts (Milford, Mass. / Mount St. Charles) made four stops, including a pair of extraordinary saves, to backstop the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Little East Conference foe Plymouth State University this afternoon at Cressy Field.
The Corsairs won for the third consecutive time on their home turf to raise their overall record to 7-7, including a 3-2 mark inside the conference circuit. The Panthers fell to 5-9 and 2-3 against Little East Conference opponents.
Freshman Lily Higgins (Hanson, Mass. / Whitman-Hanson) cracked the scoring column in the fourth minute, when she gathered a short pass from senior striker Shelby Friedland (New Bedford, Mass.) and ticketed her first collegiate marker inside the left post.
Plymouth State nearly tied the match in the 23rd minute following an UMass Dartmouth infraction. Senior Courtney Barker (Yarmouth, Maine) drilled a free kick off the cross bar that bounced to classmate Emily Bell (Derry, N.H. / Pinkerton Academy), who found her shot stymied by the outstretched hands of a diving Butts.
The Corsairs continued to apply the offensive pressure as sophomore Erica Farias (Tiverton, R.I.) notched her fourth marker of the season in the 3 4th minute. Sophomore Nicole Starkey (Warwick, R.I. / Pilgrim) created the scoring opportunity with a cross toward the right corner that Farias deflected into the net. The hosts carried 12-4 advantage in shots into the halftime intermission.
In the 60th minute, Bell broke in behind the UMass Dartmouth backline only to be stonewalled with a lunging stop by Butts. The Corsairs quickly countered with a rush of their own that was thwarted by sophomore keeper Annaliese Schmidt (Newmarket, N.H.). Schmidt finished the match with 11 saves.
The hosts held a 20-9 advantage in shots and 2-1 lead in corner kicks.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 7 p.m. on Oct. 22, when the Corsairs travel to Fitchburg State University.