After earning a spot in the Northeast-10 Championships finals with a 5-4 semifinal win in penalty kicks over Assumption Friday night, No. 2 Southern New Hampshire University met in-state rival No. 4 Franklin Pierce Sunday, November 5 for finals action on Larkin Field.
Southern New Hampshire executed their best performance on Larkin as they doubled-up the Ravens, posting a 2-1 win to capture the Northeast-10 championship title. This is just the second time the Penmen have captured this prestigious title, with the first occurring back in 2012. The win also qualifies Southern New Hampshire a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Southern New Hampshire came out of the gate ready to dominate the championship finals. Within the first 90 seconds, the Penmen jumped to a 1-0 lead when junior Miranda Peloquin (Greenville, Rhode Island) buried the ball into the left side of the net off a touch from senior Sydney Crema (Litchfield, New Hampshire), who seized the ball from classmate Trisha Luis (Lowell, Massachusetts) Just 20 minutes later, Peloquin struck again. She settled a lob across the box from Luis and unleashed a shot from a tough angle on the right. A Franklin Pierce defender attempted to make a move to try to clear the ball away from the net, but inadvertently deflected it into the top right corner of the net to increase the lead to 2-0.
In the 33rd minute, Franklin Pierce stopped SNHU from running away with a blank slate. Franklin Pierce’s Bruna Tavares attempted to send a cross from the left end line into the box, but senior goalkeeper Paige Salmon (W. Hempstead, New York) dove out toward the middle and got a hand on the ball to knock it away. However, the ball landed on the foot of Sophie Cousineau on the right side of the box and she kicked it into the near side of the net to make the score 2-1.
Throughout the second half, both teams held strong defense as neither team executed a goal. The Ravens gave their in-state rival a small scare, however, midway through the 78th minute when Franklin Pierce’s Gabi Pereira shot a lofty ball toward goal, but it sailed just over the crossbar. This was the best chance for either team in the second half.
When time ran out in the second half, the Penmen ran to the field over to Salmon where they jumped on each other in a huddle to celebrate their victory. It was a very emotional win for the Penmen, as it was only their second title in program history.
The Penmen will now await the NCAA Selection Show, which airs Monday, November 6 (6 p.m.) on NCAA.com, to learn their seeding for the NCAA Tournament.