GORHAM, Maine – Junior Ciera Berthiaume (Windham, Maine) recorded her first career hat trick and the fourth-seed University of Southern Maine Huskies rolled the fifth-seed UMass Dartmouth Corsairs 3-0 in quarterfinal action of the 2018 Little East Conference women's soccer championship tournament Tuesday night at Hannaford Field. Southern Maine senior goalkeeper Taylor Canastra (Fairhaven, Mass.) made six saves to record her school record 10th shutout of the season.
With the win, Southern Maine advances to the 2018 Little East Conference women's soccer championship semifinal and will face top-seeded Western Connecticut State on Friday. The Huskies are now 14-4-1 on the season extending their school-record for wins in a season. The win marks the fourth win in LEC tournament history for Southern Maine in 13 games (10 appearances). Southern Maine last won a playoff game in the 2005 season, defeating Rhode Island College 1-0 as the fourth-seed. The loss concludes UMass Dartmouth's season with a record of 7-8-5.
Escaping with a 1-0 win over the Corsairs in the regular season, Berthiaume put the Huskies up by a brace early in the contest scoring her first two goals of the game before 10 minutes expired on the clock. Berthiaume scored the first of her three goals in the third minute with a far-post shot after receiving a brilliant ball into the box after a strong individual effort from senior Emma Dennison (South Portland, Maine) from the midfield. Berthiaume made it 2-0 in the ninth minute breaking through a pair of Corsair defenders before lifting a goal past the UMD goalkeeper.
Southern Maine took its comfortable 2-0 lead into the half. UMD had a pair of quality chances in the later minutes of the first half, including a shot from junior Nerida Montrond (Lynn, Mass./Brockton) in the 39th that hit off the far post.
In the second half, Berthiaume made another pair of moves in the box for her third goal of the game for a 3-0 Husky advantage at the 51st minute. From there, the Huskies kept the Corsairs off the scoreboard to advance to the semifinals of the LEC tourney for just the fourth time in school history. Canastra's six saves improved her record to 12-4-1 on the season. UMD goalkeeper sophomore Jaimee O'Brien (West Springfield, Mass.) made three saves in the loss.