WESTFIELD, Mass. - Junior forward Gabrielle Klane (Franklin, Mass.) scored the only goal of the night with just over five minutes to play to give the Simmons College women's soccer team a 1-0 victory over host Westfield State University at Alumni Field this evening in Westfield, Mass. The Sharks improve to 2-4-1 on the season, while the Owls fall to 3-3-0.
Westfield State owned a 17-4 shot advantage and held a 10-1 margin on corner kicks to control possession for the majority of the match, but the Simmons defense, led by junior back Jessie Pratt (Westfield, Mass.), kept the Owls off the board.
Klane's second goal of the season came on a feed from first year forward Rachel Gilbert(Falmouth, Mass.) and sophomore midfielder Cíara Forde (Quincy, Mass.) with 5:05 left in the contest to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Forde won the ball in the midfield and played a long ball ahead to Gilbert, who fired a shot from 10 yards out on the right side. The Westfield keeper came out to make a diving save of Gilbert's shot, but the ball deflected to Klane, who was unmarked at the left post for the eventual game winner.
Westfield looked to tie the match in the closing seconds when senior midfielder Taylor Grijalva (Stratham, N.H.) uncorked a shot on frame, but the ball clanged off the cross bar to deny the attempt. The Owls had opportunities earlier in the match as well. Midway through the first half, Melissa McGue (Quincy, Mass.) ripped a shot from the right side, but a Simmons defender cleared the ball off the goal line. Westfield's Grijalva later sent a header that hit the crossbar in the 73rd minute, and two minutes later, McGue broke in clean against the Sharks keeper, but her shot was wide left.
Junior keeper Casey Halle (Watertown, Mass.) stopped four shots to record her third career shutout for Simmons, while sophomore goalie Natalia Falcone (Sutton, Mass.) made a pair of saves for the Owls.
The Sharks will be in action again on Saturday, September 24 when they travel to Standish, Maine to take on Great Northeast Athletic Conference rival Saint Joseph's College at 11:00 a.m., while Westfield State hosts Fitchburg State University on the same day at 12:00 p.m.