WESTON, Mass. -- A win was all that the Mustangs needed to qualify next week's Great Northeast Athletic Conference postseason tournament and they were able to topple the Regis (Mass.) Pride 1-0 to qualify for the third year in a row. Lexi Minicucci (Westfield, Mass.) had what would be the game-winning goal off a first-half corner from Sarah Hemstock (Northford, Conn.). Minicucci's goal continues her offensive dominance in the GNAC as she leads in both goals (21), shots (104), and total points (49).
Both teams knew today's action would be do-or-die qualifications for a postseason berth, so the nerves contributed to a number of early fouls by both sides. Shots from Erin Esty (Gorham, Maine) and Minicucci forced Pride goalkeeper Maresa Malcolm (Barrington, N.J.) to make some terrific saves early in the contest. However, Malcolm was unable to stop Minicucci's shot off the Hemstock corner in the 26th minute for the game's first, and ultimately only, goal. Mustangs goalkeeper Grace Ryan (Livermore Falls, Maine) only saw one shot in the first half, which was able to knock aside to keep the score at 1-0 heading into the break. Ryan would finish with four save on the day, on the way to her 9th win of the season
Second half action saw the Pride put more pressure on the Mustangs defense as the time was running down on their postseason chances. A Regis (Mass.) corner in the 44th minute looked to be the equalizer, but Ryan was able to block the shot attempt by Mary Constantino (Abington, Mass.). Mount Ida continued to press their offensive attack and Megan Jusell (Cape Cod, Mass.) was just inches from increasing the lead when her shot hit the post and bounced away.
The Pride had one last chance to send the game into overtime with a corner as time expired, but the attempt from Sidney Lowe (Lancaster, Mass.) did not lead to a shot and the Mustangs came away with the victory 1-0. Regis (Mass.) finished their first season in the GNAC at 7-8 overall and 2-5 in conference play. Mount Ida continues to play on as they move to 9-7 overall and 3-4 in GNAC action.
The Mustangs will travel to Johnson & Wales (R.I.) for postseason action as the quarterfinals will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28th at a time TBA.
Founded in 1899, Mount Ida College is a small, private college in Newton, Massachusetts, providing career-focused programs built upon a strong foundation in the social sciences, humanities and the arts, all developed and implemented to prepare our approximately 1,450 students for success. The College is comprised of the School of Applied Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Design and the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, awarding associate, bachelor and master's degrees. www.mountida.edu