Last Minute Equalizer Forces Lady’s Soccer into Double OT Draw

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The University of Vermont women’s soccer team scored three goals in the second half to dig itself out of a 2-0 hole, but Central Connecticut’s Laura Duncan (East Sussex, England) headed in Kelly Shimmin’s restart cross with just 35 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

The Catamounts and the Blue Devils played through two scoreless overtime periods and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

Central Connecticut, the fifth ranked team in the Northeast, entered today’s contest with a 7-1-0 record. The Blue Devils only loss was to nationally ranked Connecticut. Vermont moves to 4-2-2 on the season.

The Blue Devils struck in the 23rd minute, when Jessica McCavanagh (Massapequa, N.Y.) collected a chip from Jen Frisch (Gansevoort, N.Y.) and beat Vermont goalkeeper Katie Duffy (Monroe, N.Y.) one-on-one to give CCSU a 1-0 lead.

McCavanagh added her seventh goal of the season in the 33rd minute, beating Duffy one-on-one for a second time as she slotted the ball into the lower left corner of the net. Central Connecticut took its 2-0 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Vermont scored three goals within 12 minutes to take a 3-2 lead. Junior Nikkie Hessney (Victor, N.Y.) headed in a cross from Kara McDonough (Barrington, R.I.) at 63:02 to cut the lead in half. Sophomore Amy Cochran (Keene, N.H.) scored her first collegiate goal knocking in a rebound off a Vermont restart in the 71st minute to tie the game up 2-2.

Hessney provided Vermont’s go-ahead goal in the 76th minute. She collected a thru pass from Cochran and beat CCSU keeper Sabrina Mariani (Quebec, Canada) for her seventh goal of the year to give UVM a 3-2 lead.

However, Duncan’s scored the game-tying goal at 89:25.

Both teams played through two scoreless overtime periods. Vermont managed two shots, while Central Connecticut registered three shots in the extra sessions.

Duffy finished the game with seven saves, including snuffing out a pair of breakaways and a point blank volley in the second half, for Vermont. Mariani made eight stops for the Blue Devils.

“We played a fantastic second half. I’m proud of the way the team fought back,” said Vermont head coach Jodi Kenyon. “We have to find a way to duplicate what we do in the second half and start the game off with that same effort. To score three straight second half goals and have the game end in a draw is unlucky.

But we will build on this game and use this as a stepping-stone as we head into conference play. Central’s only loss was to a Top 20 team and our second half play gives us confidence that we can play at a high level,” continued Kenyon.

Vermont closes out its eight-game road trip with a 1:00pm match at Quinnipiac on Sunday.

FINAL SCORE: Vermont 3, Central Connecticut 3 (2 OT)

Scoring: CCSU-Jessica McCavanagh (Jen Frisch, Denise Thomas), 22:26; CCSU-McCavanagh (Kelly Shimmin), 32:30; UVM-Nikkie Hessney (Kara McDonough), 63:02; UVM-Amy Cochran (Sara Jablonski), 70:04; UVM-Hessney (Cochran), 75:45; CCSU-Laura Duncan (Shimmin), 89:25; Goalkeepers: UVM-Katie Duffy (110:00 min; 7 svs; 3 gaa); CCSU-Sabrina Mariani (110:00 min; 8 svs; 3 gaa); Shots: UVM-15; CCSU-13; Corners: UVM-6; CCSU-4; Fouls: UVM-11; CCSU-19; Offsides: UVM-1; CCSU-2; Cautions: CCSU-Jessica Gildea Yellow Card; UVM-Katie Brennan Yellow Card.

-Athletic Communications