2018 LEC Coach of the Year: Seth Benjamin '00

Western Connecticut Holds Off Southern Maine 2-1

Senior Emily Baker beats her mark to the ball.
Senior Emily Baker beats her mark to the ball.


GORHAM, Maine  –  Kaleigh Panek and Myah Croze each scored a goal in a half to lead the Western Connecticut State University Colonials past the University of Southern Maine Huskies 2-1 in a Little East Conference women's soccer game Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

With the win, Western Connecticut, the 2018 Little East Conference Champion, earns a 1-0 record to start the LEC portion of its schedule and improves to 3-4-1 overall. Southern Maine drops to 4-3 and 0-1 with the loss


Scoring fifth goal of the season, Panek struck from the left side of the box in the sixth minute to give the Colonials an early 1-0 lead.  Croze, the Colonials leading scorer, gave WCSU a 2-0 advantage in the 56th on a strong individual effort, making a pair of moves outside the box to clear space for a shot and striking the ball to the upper far post for her sixth goal of the season.

The Huskies had a few solid chances in both halves, including a long-range attempt from junior Elise Porter that hit off of the cross bar in the 48th minute that would have tied the game.

Southern Maine clawed its way back into the game with a goal in the 86th minute.  After earning a corner kick for her side, junior Ciera Berthiaume (Windham, Maine) sent in a perfectly placed cross to the far post finding the head of senior Emma Dennison (South Portland, Maine).  Dennison powered the ball into the net for her first goal of the game.  The Huskies pressured for an equalizer in the final four minutes, but Western Connecticut was able maintain its composure for the win.


            Western Connecticut outshot USM 7-3 in the first half, but USM closed the gap in the second as the Colonials owned a 12-10 advantage in shots. The Colonials dominated corner kicks with a 7-1 lead. 

            USM's lone corner kick led to its only goal of the game.


Western Connecticut goalkeeper Karly Martin made four saves in the win.  Three of her saves came in the second half, including a diving stop on a shot from Berthiaume and a kick save on a close range attempt in the final minutes.  Southern Maine freshman Kayla Gorman (Windam, Maine) made four saves in the loss.


             Dennison's goal is the 10th of her career and moves her into the top 20 of Southern Maine's career records.  She has 10 goals and seven assists in 55 career games for 27 points.


            The Huskies have a quick turnaround and will take on Bates College in Lewiston on Sunday (2:00 pm) in a non-conference match. . Southern Maine is back at home on Wednesday (4:00 pm) on Wednesday in another non-conference game.