WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior Alyssa Valente (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) and senior Ana Tantum (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull HS) were the goal scorers as Bentley University claimed a big 2-1 victory over Franklin Pierce at home on Saturday afternoon.
The teams came into the day tied with eight points in the Northeast-10 standings, and Bentley's win gives them a leg up in the race for playoff spots.
The teams traded opportunities throughout the first half with both teams coming close, and both goalies, Bentley's Deirdre Macrorie (Winchester/Winchester HS) and Franklin Pierce's Casey Cook making important saves.
The Falcons had a couple of good scoring chances before their first goal. Off a loose ball from a free kick, forward Peyton Kent (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan HS) had a shot from outside the penalty area go through several defenders, but just wide of the net.
In the 40th minute, Tantum dribbled past her marker to run in on goal, and fired off a shot from the right corner that knocked off the crossbar.
The first goal though came right before halftime. Franklin Pierce had the ball in the Bentley end, but pressure from the Falcons created a turnover near the penalty box, that Valente pounced on for her 6th goal of the season.
Franklin Pierce had the first good chance of the 2nd half. Forward Maria da Silva blasted a shot from 25 yards, but Macrorie was equal to the task and made the save moving to her right.
Bentley's 2nd goal of the day, in the 56th minute, came off solid passing between Valente, senior Jamie Grinavic (North Attleboro/North Attleboro HS) and Tantum, who had the finish. Valente started a break down the left, and fed a pass to Grinavic in the center of the field. Tantum to the right made a run into the box, which Grinavic spotted and threaded a pass to her. Tantum then dribbled around the charging goalkeeper and finished from close range to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
Franklin Pierce scored a free kick goal in the 89th minute to set up a tight finish, but Bentley hung on to secure the big win. They improve to 6-3-2 overall and 3-3-2 in NE-10 matches.
The team's next game is Wednesday night at Merrimack, with a 7:00 pm start.