Climo clinches Patriot League title for women’s soccer in OT goal

Becky Chambers, Staff Writer

The women’s soccer team kicked off the Patriot League tournament on Nov. 4 against Lafayette, followed by the championship game on Nov. 6 against Boston University. The women’s soccer team used the home field advantage to defeat both conference opponents to snatch the Patriot League title.

Seeded first in the rankings, the Bison easily took down Lafayette with another successful shutout by Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, Jessica Ratner ’17. The first goal came in the 27th minute by forward Alexis Gannon ’17 off a rebound from midfielder Gabi Rosenfeld’s ’18 shot during a scramble in the box. Forward Kendall Ham ’18 had kept the ball in play, allowing Rosenfeld, forward Maddie Mulford ’18, and Gannon to all fire off shots. Ham had been named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, Mulford was a First Team All-Patriot League selection, and Gannon was a Second Team All-Patriot League selection.

Rosenfeld was able to increase the Bison’s lead on the Leopards during the 68th minute when she scored off of an assist from Ham. Lafayette never stood a chance against the defense and Ratner. They were limited to a total of eight shots and just one corner kick, whereas the Bison had 23 shots and seven corner kicks.

“This whole season we have focused on taking things one game at a time, and we took that into the tournament and zoned in on it. We’ve been working so hard all season, and I am beyond blessed to be a part of something so incredibly special. This team is something special, and I am thankful everyday that I am able to experience this journey with all of my teammates,” Ratner said.

The Bison took to the field again on Nov. 6 to face off against Boston University for the championship title. The first half was scoreless and it looked like the Terriers were going to have the advantage. They outshot the home team 8-3, and Ratner made six saves before the half was over.

The Bison came into the second half with determination and, within six minutes, Meghan Holtz ’18 delivered a cross, which was passed into the box by Gannon, and finally followed through with a shot by Mulford to get the goal. The Terriers retaliated quickly, and in 30 seconds had tied up the game. Ratner and defender Kelsey Witt ’17 worked hard to keep Boston from scoring again and the game was sent into overtime.

Overtime lasted less than five minutes before defender Jackie Ham ’18 was able to cross the ball to midfielder Cora Climo ’17, who got enough of her body on it to score the championship-winning goal. The celebration in the stands and on the field was incredible.

“From the start of the season, our goal all year was to win a Patriot League championship, and to accomplish that yesterday was such a surreal feeling. We all worked so hard throughout the season, and it felt so nice to win on our home field. The best part was being able to share this experience with such an amazing group of girls, and it’s something we’ll never forget,” J. Ham said.

“Our team has worked so hard this entire season and being able to call ourselves the Patriot League champions feels amazing. Winning yesterday was a dream come true, and we are so excited to have the opportunity to keep our season going in the NCAA tournament,” Mulford said.

The Bison are now on their way to the NCAA tournament for the third time with one of the best records in the nation. The Orange and Blue will hit the road to take on Penn State on Nov. 11 for a first-round game.

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