WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior Ali Maldonado (Rutland, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal with 4:06 remaining on the clock as the Worcester State University women's soccer team defeated Keene State College 2-1 Tuesday evening in non-conference action at Coughlin Field.
With the win, Worcester State improves to 3-4-1, and wins consecutive games for the first time this season. The Owls drop to 3-4-0 overall this season.
The first half played out like a chess match, and the teams went to the locker room level at 0-0. The best chance of the half came in the 33rd minute, when Keene State Sarah Carron walked down the right side of the Worcester State defense. Carron took a shot from the wing, but Lancer keeper Tori Socci (Blackstone, Mass.) dove to her right to make the save with her fingertips to keep the game scoreless.
Maldonado finally broke the deadlock in the 60th minute by netting her fourth goal of the season. After sophomore Apphia Donoghue (Rowley, Mass.) played a ball forward from the midfield, Maldonado tapped the ball forward past the on-charging Owl goalkeeper and into the vacated net to put the Lancers ahead 1-0.
The Lancers continued to surge over the next 20 minutes looking for an insurance marker, but it would eventually be the Owls who scored next to tie the game. In the 84th minute, Keene's Patricia Norton fired a shot from distance that got over the head of Socci and into the top corner of the net to give the Owls a stunning equalizer.
The tie would be short-lived however, as Maldonado quickly gave the Lancers the lead right back. Maldonado took a feed from junior Madison Rotti (Rutland, Mass.) just inside the top of the 18-yard box and unleashed a shot that went bar-down for the game-winning goal. Keene would not register another shot in the contest, and the Lancers would come away with the thrilling win.
Socci made two saves to pick up the win for Worcester State in goal. Shelby Offord was credited with the loss, making eight saves in 45 minutes of action.
Next up for the Lancers, they'll head to Salem State on Saturday for a rematch of last year's MASCAC Semifinal. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. The Owls will return to action on Thursday with a non-conference tilt against Bridgewater State.