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The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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Women’s Soccer Dominates in New Shewcraft Field Home Opener

Photograph+by+Beacon+photographer+Johnluke+Kunce.
Photograph by Beacon photographer Johnluke Kunce.

Domination was purely what the Women’s Soccer team did during their home opener on the newly renovated Ron Shewcraft Field on Wednesday, September 27. Three goals in just the first ten minutes of the game set the tone for MCLA, as they cruised to a 13-0 victory over the visiting Bay Path University Wildcats. With the victory, the Trailblazers improved to a 2-3-2 record (now 3-7-2), while Bay Path dropped to 0-4 on the season (now 0-5).

“Everyone loves to win their first game on a brand new field under the lights, I mean it’s just awesome,” said Head Coach, Deb Raber, regarding the team morale after the game. “Getting the win is fantastic, getting multiple players on a scoresheet is definitely helpful for morale without a doubt, and just the energy of being under the lights and just having the support of friends and family and fellow student-athletes is super important.”

The game began with momentum, with forward Addison Gates ‘27 scoring the first goal just over a minute into regulation. Three more MCLA goals by midfielder/forward Eva Bassallo ‘26, midfielder Anna Lewis ‘24, and forward/midfielder Kylie DeMaio ‘27 would extend the lead to a comfortable 4-0 lead, as Raber swapped out nearly all of the starting lineup with reserves off the bench at roughly the 13 minute mark of the first half. 

Photograph by Beacon photographer Johnluke Kunce.

For Raber, having the ability to give all of her players crucial minutes to contribute all the field was not only a chance for starters to get rest, but also gave reserves opportunities to show their skills and could open doors as the rest of the season plays out with injuries always being a factor. “Being able to get everyone a significant amount of minutes tonight, that was something that was very important for us,” she said.

Despite the numerous changes on the field, the Trailblazers continued to fire on all cylinders. First-year forward Camryn Belisle ‘27, who was one of the reserves, would have a day to remember, as she scored her first three collegiate goals within an eight-minute stretch to give her a hat trick. Another goal by forward Cidnee Frymire ‘26 would add additional insurance for MCLA, as they closed the first half with an 8-0 lead.

I was honored to have earned my first hat trick as MCLA college athlete, even more so playing on home turf,” said Belisle, in a statement given to The Beacon. “However, this accomplishment was not achieved alone. We work hard as a team and play as a team. The win against Bay Path was a team effort, and there are a lot of amazing girls on the team that can all play and support one another.”

Photograph by Beacon photographer Johnluke Kunce.

As the second half went underway, it was more of the same for the Trailblazers. Gates and DeMaio each put up another goal roughly five minutes and eight minutes into the half, respectively, and extended the lead to double digits for a 10-0 lead. MCLA and Bay Path would trade off a few shots before Raber again made the switch for multiple starters to be taken out for the reserves. 

It would create more memorable moments for the Trailblazers, goalie Eva Eberwein ‘26 and midfielder Jayde Meribela ‘26 would score their first goals of their collegiate careers to continue adding on to the lead. A second goal by Frymire would conclude the evening for MCLA, as they cruised to a 13-0 victory.

While the offense was clicking, Raber also wanted to highlight the strong play on the defensive side for MCLA, as the team maintained possession of the ball for nearly all of the game from start to finish, while holding Bay Path to just five shots.

“It was really important for us tonight to work on our support play, getting our backs to support the midfielders and getting the midfielders to play back to our [defenders] and swing the ball more efficiently, and I think we were able to accomplish that tonight,” she said. “It was really important for us to be able to do that because it’s the style we want to play of ‘can we possess and move the ball more,’ and we did that tonight.”

Photograph by Beacon photographer Johnluke Kunce.

On the night, eight different Trailblazers would score in the game led by Belisle’s hat trick, with Gates, DeMaio, and Frymire each putting up a pair of their own. Frymire would also lead the team in assists in three, with Eberwein and backup goalie, Em Marlay-Wright ‘24 combining for a perfect four saves on four shots on goal opportunities, with Eberwein picking up the win to improve her record to 2-3-2 (now 3-7-2). 

As the season continues forward, Raber hopes the team is able to replicate the same offensive style of possession, as it will lead to more opportunities to score and help out on the defensive side of the ball as well. “I think we need to recognize the possession style of play that we use,” she said. “Possession leads up to through balls or however we wanna play, but the possession through the middle of the field and utilizing side to side on the field is so incredibly important for us.”

MCLA continues its final stretch of games with their last home game of the season against Sage College on Monday, October 16, followed by road trips against fellow MASCAC opponents Fitchburg State and Bridgewater State on October 21 and October 28, respectively. 

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Owen Brown, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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