Women's Soccer Edged By Colby-Sawyer in OT, 2-1

Women's Soccer Edged By Colby-Sawyer in OT, 2-1

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton women's soccer team gave four-time defending North Atlantic Conference champion Colby-Sawyer all it could handle Saturday afternoon, but eventually fell to the Chargers in overtime, 2-1, in a seesaw league battle at Spartan Stadium. 

With the loss, Castleton dropped to 4-5-1 overall and 3-1 in conference action. Colby-Sawyer improved to 7-1 on the season and remained unbeaten in NAC action at 4-0 following the win.

Nell McQueeney netted the game-winning goal for Colby-Sawyer at the 6:02 mark of the first overtime period. Hannah Fields took an outlet pass down the near sideline and fed a cross in front, where McQueeney battled through a Spartan defender to knock in the one-touch goal and give the Chargers the victory.

Bronwen Hopwood had the opening chance in overtime as Makenzi Bellando sent a cross toward the far post, where Hopwood fired a low shot on goal but Colby-Sawyer goalkeeper Marissa Williams dove and got both hands on it to shift momentum in favor of the visitors.

The first 90 minutes were back-and-forth and saw shots at 9-9 after regulation. Rylee Nichols staked the Spartans to an early 1-0 lead with her seventh goal of the season in the ninth minute. Nichols found space in the offensive end and split the defense before burying a shot inside the left post at 9:34 of the opening frame.

Colby-Sawyer answered right back just over five minutes later when Fields received a cross from McQueeney and snuck a shot beyond the outstretched arms of Kiley Baran in goal at 14:42 of the first half. The game-tying goal proved to be the only first-half shot on goal for the Chargers as Castleton had a handful of opportunities but could not capitalize en route to a 1-1 score after 45 minutes.

The second half was much of the same as golden chances came up on both ends but goaltenders were up to the task. Castleton came away with the best opportunity in the 81st minute after forcing a turnover deep in the Chargers' defensive zone. On a 3-on-1 break, Rachel Keefer received a cross and let go of a shot headed inside the right post, but Williams lunged to make the save and keep the score level. The Chargers clicked off two shots on goal before regulation time expired, but Baran stayed strong to send the game to overtime.

Baran made six saves in the game despite falling to 4-2 in goal this season. Williams earned five saves to improve to 3-0 with the win.

Colby-Sawyer held a slight advantage in shots, 11-10, including 8-6 on goal. Corner kicks finished 8-4 in favor of Castleton, while the Spartans committed eight fouls to the Chargers' four.

Castleton will have a quick turnaround as it faces No. 4 Williams on the road Sunday at 12 noon.