Women Soccer Wins in OT
In a truly epic week for the Colby women's soccer team won two games and secured its second consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament berth. The women took down Husson University in an overtime thriller on Wednesday, then stomped Connecticut College in New London on Saturday.
The Mules played a very strong Husson team on Wednesday, battling back and forth in a hotly contested affair. Though the shot margin was about even, Colby saw the bulk of the offensive opportunities with a 10-1 advantage on corner kicks. Both goalkeepers were forced into action, with Loni Pisani '11 making eight saves to earn her sixth shutout of the season.
After neither team could find the back of the net in regulation, the game went into overtime. The Mules made their lone shot of the overtime duel count, as sharp-shooting Kate Pistel '13 calmly and deftly tucked a breakaway past the hapless Eagle goalkeeper. Defender Su-Lin Del Guercio '11 assisted on the goal, supplying the critical through-ball from her spot at center back and earning her first point of the year.
The Mules looked to continue their momentum in their clash with the Camels of Connecticut College. The first half saw the Mules with several near misses, as Connecticut struggled to cope with the slick turf on the field. Though there were no goals scored, the tempo for the match was set with scrappy, physical play that continued in the second half.
Colby finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute, as Pistel's corner kick found the head of Katie Palano '12, who redirected the ball into the net to give the Mules a 1-0 advantage. The women doubled their lead just over three minutes later, as Palano cashed in with her second goal of the day off of a free kick from Del Guercio. The Colby defense made the lead hold up, buoyed once again by Pisani's efforts. The Colby keeper made 11 saves en route to her seventh shutout of the year. With the shutout victory, the Mules are now just one shutout away from tying the team record for shutouts in a season (eight).
The victory clinched a NESCAC playoff berth for the Mules, who will finish at least eighth in the league tables. The team still has a lot on the line for its game against Bates this Friday. A win by Colby could move the Mules up as high as sixth place, should Bowdoin and Wesleyan both lose their final games. With no midweek games scheduled, the Mules will have the full week to prepare for Bates, who dropped a 1-0 decision to Middlebury on Saturday to fall out of playoff contention. This final regular season game for the seniors will take place on Friday, with kickoff slated for 3:00 p.m. in Lewiston.