JUSTIN FORTIER ’18
On Wednesday Oct. 12 the Trinity Women’s Soccer team took down the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors 2-0. This matchup marked the fourth out-of-conference matchup the Bantams have won this season, out of a potential five non-conference matchups.
Eastern was expected to be one of the more formidable teams outside of the NESCAC featured on Trinity’s fall match schedule. Pulling from a full-time undergraduate student body of 4,420, the Eastern Warriors have performed well this season within their own conference. Recording conference wins over UMass Dartmouth, Plymouth State, Keene State and UMass Boston; Eastern Connecticut currently rests atop the Little East Conference women’s soccer standings with a 4-0-1 in conference record. In matchups against NESCAC competition the Warriors pushed into a second overtime before inevitably losing 1-2 to Connecticut College. In a matchup against Wesleyan, Eastern knocked down Trinity’s rival 1-0. Although the Weslyean team has struggled this season, Eastern’s win certainly proved that they would be a suitable challenge for Trinity.
Early in the match, Trinity’s Nicole Stauffer ’17 and Andi Nicholson ’17 set up the first goal by forward Taylor Kirchgessner ’19. Stauffer fed Nicholson at the top of the box, and Nicholson controlled it in traffic before passing left to Kirchgessner. Effortlessly, Kirchgessner feigned left and drew Warrior goalie Kayla Labrecque before striking right and shooting into open space on the right side of the goal and into the back of the net, tallying her seventh goal of the season.
In the 24th minute, Eastern made a stronger effort to bring the scoreboard level when Haley Lehning sent a powerful shot on goal to the dismay of Warrior fans, the ball never connected with back of the net, instead ricocheting off the cross bar and ending the threat. Trinity scored its second goal seconds before halftime, as Katherine Marlow-Benedick ’20 and Kirchgessner played off a give-and-go resulting in Marlow-Benedick beating Labrecque on the left side, marking Marlow-Benedick’s first goal of her college career. The second half brought excitement with a missed shot high over the crossbar in the 86th minute.
The game concluded with the Bantams leading the offensive effort, nine shots to seven. Throughout the entire match, there was only a single corner kick, which was taken by Trinity. Labrecque finished with four saves and Trinity’s Julia Pitino ’18 stopped three shots for her fourth-straight shutout and her seventh clean sheet of the season. At the conclusion of the match, Pitino and the Bantam back line had not allowed a goal in their last 429 minutes of play. This was broken in the Bantams next match, 15 minutes into the first half, as Middlebury scored its first of two goals in the 2-1 victory over the Bantams.
After the loss to Middlebury, Trinity’s record slid to 9-2-2 overall and 6-2 within the NESCAC. Although it is only mid-season, it is safe to say that the Bantams are on track for one of their best seasons in recent years.