WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior forward Courtney Pepin (Uxbridge, Mass.) tallied a pair of goals to help the visiting Bridgewater State University women's soccer team remain undefeated in the league by defeating Worcester State University, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup.
The Bears improve to 8-4 on the season and a perfect 4-0 in the MASCAC. Bridgewater has won five straight games and eight of its last nine. The host Lancers fall to 7-4-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
Bridgewater State came out strong and held a 10-1 margin in shots and attained four corner kicks within the first 23 minutes of play. Worcester State, however, was the first to crack the scoreboard as junior forward Tsara LeBlanc (Gardner, Mass.) found the back of the net in the 30th minute.
That lead was short-lived, however, as sophomore midfielder Emma Sanders (Seekonk, Mass.) set up Pepin with a nice feed to knot the score at 1-1. Sanders beat a defender one-on-one at the top of the 18 and slid a pass to her wide-open teammate coming down the left side. Pepin beat the Worcester keeper with a shot inside the right post.
Worcester State put pressure on the Bears' defense for the remainder of the half, but BSU senior goaltender Lauren DeSousa (Taunton, Mass.) was able to stop five shots on net in the last ten minutes of the frame.
The game remained tied until the 69th minute when Pepin got a foot on a loose ball off a scrum in the goalie box in the 69th minute. Freshman midfielder Annika Jurgilewicz (Pepperell, Mass.) sent a goal line cross into the box that was headed up in the air by a Worcester defender. Pepin was the first to the ball and knocked it inside the left post for her team leading seventh goal of the season.
The Lancers outshot the Bears 18-6 in the second half, but were unable to get one past DeSousa who recorded ten saves over the final 45 minutes.
Worcester finished with a 31-19 shot advantage, while Bridgewater held a slight 7-6 edge in corner kick attempts.
DeSousa had a phenomenal performance in goal as she recorded a season-high 18 saves between the pipes for the Bears.
Freshman goalkeeper Jill Zinkus (Grafton, Mass.) turned aside six shots in the setback for the hosts.
Both teams are off until next Saturday. The Bears entertain MASCAC rival Westfield State University at noon, while the Lancers travel to conference foe Salem State University for a three o'clock game with the Vikings.