SPRINGFIELD, Mass., September 5, 2006 – Springfield College sophomore back Kayla Thibeault (Lebanon, Conn.) scored the game-winning goal with 1:43 remaining as the visiting Pride remained undefeated with a 3-2 non-conference victory over cross-town rival Western New England College (WNEC) this afternoon at Suprenant Field.
SC (3-0) took a 1-0 lead when sophomore forward Nicole Hanewich (Cumberland, R.I.) hit the back of the net off a feed from freshman midfielder Jillian Pereira (East Providence, R.I.) in the 14th minute of action (13:36). The score was Hanewich's team-leading fourth of the season.
The Golden Bears (1-1) tied the contest on a goal by senior forward Jen Woishnis with an assist from junior forward Danielle Matte in the 23rd minute of play (22:33).
Neither team would score for the next 32 minutes of action until sophomore midfielder Lauren Peltier (Agawam, Mass.) gave the Pride a 2-1 edge in the 55th minute (54:32) with her second goal of the season. Senior midfielder Michelle Bongiovanni (West Springfield, Mass.) was credited with her first assist on the year during the play.
SC appeared to put the game out of reach when Thibeault weaved her way through several defenders and fired a shot home for a 3-1 advantage in the 89th minute (88:17). The goal was Thibeault's first in a Pride uniform. WNEC came right back, however, and pulled within a goal only 13 seconds later when freshman back Kristen Culver netted her first collegiate goal with 1:30 left in the game off an assist from junior midfielder Jill Caracciolo.
The Thibeault goal proved to be difference, as SC improves to 3-0 on the young season. Junior goalkeeper Amanda Petri (East Granby, Conn.) picked up the win in net for the Pride as she improves to 2-0 on the year while saving four WNEC shots on goal in the match. SC will next host Brandeis University in yet another non-league contest on Saturday evening, September 9th, in a 5:00 p.m. start at Brock-Affleck Field.