BANGOR, Maine — Husson University’s Eagles served notice Tuesday that they will be a formidable women’s soccer team in New England Division III circles this fall.
Senior striker Shelby Bradford scored a pair of goals and also had an assist and senior midfielder Kylan Smith had a goal and an assist as Husson posted a convincing 6-1 victory over the youthful University of Southern Maine in a mutual season-opener at Boucher Field.
Caitlyn Butterfield (penalty kick), Megan Lajoie and Alexandra Laniewski scored the other goals for Husson and Katelyn Cloutier had a pair of assists. Katie McLaughlin picked up one assist.
Rozlyn Petersen made two saves on five shots before Jen Plourde finished up and faced two shots that didn’t require a save.
Catherine Wise scored a consolation goal for USM with Jessica Gassman assisting. Senior goalkeeper Alison Bradley from New Zealand turned in a superb 10-save performance while facing 30 shots and allowing five goals. Kat Rothe replaced her and made six saves on 15 shots and gave up one goal.
“It was a good first game,” said Husson senior back Butterfield. “Coach [Keith Bosley] got 21 players in. It’s good to get that many in during your first game.”
Butterfield also said the 45-shot barrage is indicative of how they want to play the rest of the season.
“We’re attack-oriented. We want to shoot as much as we can and score as much as we can,” said Butterfield.
Husson built a 2-0 lead in the first half and used its superior depth to wear down the Huskies in the second half.
“Husson definitely has legs and definitely has the ability to get forward,” said USM coach Lisa Petruccelli.
“They’re good. They’re fast and they got off some good shots that they placed well,” said USM ‘keeper Bradley, who kept the score respectable.
Butterfield opened the scoring 13:53 into the game when she tucked her penalty kick into the top corner to Bradley’s right after a trip in the penalty area sent her to the penalty spot.
Lajoie made it 2-0 10 minutes later when ran on to a Smith pass and hit a rising shot into the top near side corner from 14 yards out.
“Kylan passed it right to my feet, I just touched it once and shot it,” said Lajoie. “[Bradley] gave me a little more space than I thought she would. I caught her off-guard.”
USM had a glittering chance to open the scoring when Wise and Chelsea Norton worked a nice give-and-go that sprung Norton free but she sailed her shot over the crossbar.
Husson scored its four second-half goals in a span of 11:18.
Bradford triggered the spree at the 48:08 mark when she took the ball into the penalty area and put a low angled shot under Bradley into the far corner,
Just 5:08 later, McLaughlin’s textbook cross from the right flank was nodded home by Bradford as she beat the oncoming Bradley to the ball.
“That was a great cross. I just timed it right. That’s something we’ve been working on in practice,” said Bradford, a 23-goal scorer a year ago.
Bradford helped set up the next goal with a through ball to Cloutier, whose shot deflected off Bradley and was tapped into the net by University of Vermont transfer Laniewski, who created all kinds of problems for USM with her speed down the left flank.
Smith capped Husson’s scoring by simply directing a low cross by Cloutier into a vacant net past the helpless Rothe.
Wise converted a one-on-one with Petersen off a deflected pass from Gassman.