Pair of Overtime Draws brings Women’s Soccer to 6-5-2 record

Ajan Caneda, Copy Editor

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The goalkeepers of the women’s soccer team held the net for two double-overtime draws: a 0-0 home match against Lehigh on Sept. 26 and a 1-1 tie at St. Francis (Pa.) on Sept. 28. The Bison (6-5-2 overall; 1-1-1 Patriot League) capped off the week with a 2-1 victory at Loyola (Md.) on Oct. 1.

“We continue to stress the fact that we need to score goals, and I think, especially after our play in overtime against St. Francis, that we have opportunities and the finishing will come,” Maddie Mulford ’18 said. “I am really excited about how strong our team is, and we play with great energy and everyone is really contributing.”

The Bison played their second Patriot League match of the season against Lehigh, a team they defeated 3-2 in overtime last season following late-game heroics from Sarah Bresette ’17. Both teams forced overtime again, but goalkeeper Jessie Ashworth ’16 produced several clutch saves, including one diving block with 4:30 left in the second overtime period that preserved the draw.

It was a relatively even match throughout, as Lehigh held the slight edge in shot attempts (17-13) and corner kicks (9-7), while each goalie finished with eight saves on the day.

In the second half, the Orange and Blue opened up opportunities to break the scoring drought. Brigit Falcon ’15 was the recipient of a well-placed ball by Meghan Holtz ’18, giving Falcon a six-yard opportunity to score, but was quickly turned away by the Mountain Hawk goalkeeper. Lehigh also engineered a shot to win, but Ashworth made one of her key saves with 1:20 left in regulation.

Dana Calderone ’15 tallied six saves in her first start of the season against St. Francis, the next match for the Bison. This time, the offense sparked a little brighter for the Bison, as they registered 12 of their 17 shots in the final 25 minutes of regulation and overtime. After the Red Flash scored in the first half, Mulford came through with her first collegiate goal in the 85th minute off an assist from Madison Loos ’16 to force the second straight overtime game.

After Alexis Gannon ’17 cleared a St. Francis corner kick in the first overtime period, team-leading goal scorer Kendall Ham ’18 drove the length of the field and launched a shot that was grabbed by the goalkeeper. Calderone also showcased her resolve in the net by rejecting shots in the final minute of regulation and 12 minutes into overtime.

The Bison owned a 17-11 shot advantage and 8-3 edge in corner kicks (five in the second half). Ham, Mulford, and Bresette combined for seven shots on goal.

“Being in two consecutive overtime draws is obviously tiring on a team, but it shows our perseverance, effort, and hard work. We are a team that will fight until the end,” Holtz said. “In addition, we have a great advantage of depth on our team, so when someone is tired we have others that can do the job.”

Against Loyola on Oct. 1 in Maryland, the Bison caught fire between the late first and early second halves with goals from Gannon and Ham to take a 2-0 lead. The Greyhounds scored in the 66th minute to come within one, but the Orange and Blue made a solid defensive stand to close the game and prevent a third straight overtime game.

The Orange and Blue’s fourth Patriot League match of the season is at home on Oct. 4 against American at 2 p.m.

 

 

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