PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Senior Sophie Smith (Kingston, N.H.) scored the eventual game-winning goal with seven seconds left in the first half, helping the Saint Anselm College women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Pace on Saturday.
The Hawks are now 7-2-4 on the season and 4-2-3 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. Pace earned its fifth loss of the season and fell to 9-5 overall and 5-5 in conference play. With the win, the Hawks move up the conference standings into a tie for fifth place with four regular season games remaining.
After nearly 45 minutes of scoreless soccer, Smith booted home a loose ball that was not cleared properly by the Pace keeper, giving her the first goal of her collegiate career.
"The group had a great week of preparation," said head coach Joel Bancroft. "We are trying to continue to improve every day. The energy, execution and mentality today were the best of the season. We needed everyone today to get a result against a bright and dangerous Pace team. This team's self-belief is growing with each performance. I am proud of our leadership and commitment. [The student-athletes] deserve all the credit for this outcome."
Saint Anselm had one of their best scoring chances in the first 14 minutes as senior Caly Farina (Southbury, Conn.) fired three of the Hawks four shots, placing two on net, but Pace was up to the task.
Junior goalkeeper Payton Wildrick (Dartmouth, Mass.) stopped three shots on the way to her seventh win of the season. Setters goalkeeper Jade Mallea matched Wildrick with three saves.
Saint Anselm finished the match with a 10-8 shots advantage while also earning five corners compared to Pace's three.
The Hawks host Southern Connecticut State on Saturday, Oct. 26 with a 2 p.m. match start. Saint Anselm will recognize its six senior student-athletes with a pre-match ceremony.