MEDFORD, Mass. - Nighthawks freshman Elizabeth Smith (Millbrook, N.Y.) picked an opportune time for her first career goal, scoring the game-winner in the 83rd minute, as the Newbury Nighthawks defeated the Mitchell Mariners 2-1 on Saturday evening from Edgerly Sports Complex in New England Collegiate Conference play.
Before the match, Newbury honored one member of the senior class, their goalie Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.) for her dedication to the program. Sass holds 14 different records in goal for the Nighthawks program.
With the game tied 1-1, Smith received an over the top ball from junior Jahna Macnamee (Medford, Mass.) out of the midfield and found herself in on a breakaway. Smith took an inside-out shot with the right foot, sliding the shot just past the Mariners goalie, giving Newbury a 2-1 lead.
The Mariners were on the board first in the 35th minute. Coming off a free kick from freshman Hannah Hicks (Monson, Mass.), Mariners sophomore Lindsey Fairbank (Newington, Conn.) scored her first of the season for a 1-0 lead.
The Nighthawks tied the game in the 58th minute with freshman Twalesha Montague (Hartford, Conn.) scoring her third goal of the season. Montague found a pocket of space around the top of the penalty box, received a pass from freshman Gabriella Cuevas (West Valley City, Utah), and converted to tie the match at 1-1.
"The win today is huge for us," said Sass. "It sets us up in a position to finish the year strong and make a push for the playoffs."
Sass picked up the win to move to 2-12 this season, making seven saves on the night. Mariners senior Drew Johndrow (Killingly, Conn.) made six saves in the loss.
"I've never seen a team come together like this," said Sass. "I'm incredibly happy to end my career to be a part of it and to be with them."
The Nighthawks improve to 2-12 this season and sit at 1-5 in the NECC.
The Nighthawks will need another crucial win in their next match, a Tuesday afternoon match at Eastern Nazarene at 4:00 p.m.