BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University women's soccer team cruised to a 5-1 victory over Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) rival Salem State University on Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field. The game marked the MASCAC opener for both teams.
The host Bears improve to 3-3 (1-0 MASCAC) on the season with their third straight win, while the visiting Vikings fall to 1-3-1.
Senior midfielder Nicole Simas (Dartmouth, Mass.) notched a pair of goals to lead the way for Bridgewater State. Sophomore forward Alana Vincent (Taunton, Mass.) added a goal and an assist for the Bears, while sophomore defender Kaitlyn Bongarzone (Mansfield, Mass.) dished out a pair of assists.
BSU senior goalkeeper Lauren DeSousa (Taunton, Mass.) turned aside six shots to record her third win of the season and 20th in a BSU uniform. DeSousa tied former standout netminder Kayla Grover for fifth place among the Bears' all-time wins leaders.
Senior forward Courtney Pepin (Uxbridge, Mass.) got the Bears on the board just 4:14 into the game as she knocked home the rebound of a Vincent shot.
Simas extended the BSU advantage to 2-0 with a header goal in the 17th minute. Bongarzone set up the scoring opportunity with a long service from 30 yards out. Simas won the ball in the air and headed it into the back of the net.
Vincent made it a 3-0 score just two minutes later as she scored on a breakaway. Vincent received a pass from sophomore midfielder Tess Nagle (Pembroke, Mass.) coming down the right side, beat a defender one-on-one and slipped a shot past the sprawling netminder and inside the near post from eight yards out.
Sophomore midfielder Emma Sanders (Seekonk, Mass.) scored off a free kick in the 37th minute to make it a four-goal game. Bongarzone delivered the free kick into the box from 30 yards out. Sanders was the first to the ball as she flicked a shot past the Salem keeper for her first collegiate goal.
Bridgewater would take the 4-0 lead into the break. The Bears outshot the Vikings, 10-4, over the first 45 minutes.
Simas potted her second goal of the game and team-leading fifth of the year off a feed from Nagle in the 53rd minute. Simas, who was stationed just outside the six, calmly ripped a shot inside the left post to make it a 5-0 game.
Salem broke up the shutout bid just 67 seconds later as freshman midfielder Emily Boyle (Manchester, N.H.) lofted a shot from just inside the 18 that found its way into the left side of the net. Classmate Teagan Gilliss (Danvers, Mass.) recorded the assist on Boyle's goal.
The Bears finished with a 20-18 shot advantage for the game while the Vikings held the 6-3 edge in corner kick attempts.
Freshman Rebecca Sabino (Peabody, Mass.) and junior Amanda Backe (Danvers, Mass.) combined to make nine saves between the pipes for Salem as they each played a half.
Both teams are back in action with non-conference games on Tuesday. The Bears host Salve Reginal University at seven, while the Vikings travel to MIT to take on the Engineers at four.