By Maxime Devillaz
On Wednesday, Oct. 15, women’s soccer came away with a 2-2 tie in its last home appearance of the regular season. Long time school rival Dowling College forced the battle through rain and wind to an overtime thriller, where none of the teams could make way for the decider.
The Pioneers came from a ten-win streak, and had earned a 25th spot on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Division II ranking. And it started off in the Pioneers’ favor this chilly weekday afternoon.
Junior forward Susanne Vistnes connected with a cross from junior back Katie LaManna and found the back of the net after 27 minutes of play, which introduced an intense seven minutes to come.
The Golden Lions quickly answered after a battle in the Pioneer box where Kelly McQuail broke free and rolled the ball passed sophomore goalkeeper Hreffie Agnarsdottir.
However the Dowling fans on the stands barely had time to sit down before Vistnes smelled the scent of goal again. It took her less than two minutes to respond to the equalizer, as she created a path past the Dowling defender and blasted a strike that the keeper could not hold.
Senior back Rebecca Swedberg bossed over the defensive line for the remainder of the half, and the Pioneers could hold off from another equalizer before half time.
In the second stanza, the Golden Lions came out hungry, and got an opportunity early on to get even. In minute 54, Dowling set up for
a corner that was curled into the box to find the head of McQuail. She steered it into the top right corner, which evened the score and meant her second tally of the game.
The 2-2 score did stand for the remainder of the half, despite attempts on both ends to secure the win. Agnarsdottir recorded three saves for the Pioneers, while the Dowling keeper saved two.
After a shotless first overtime session, the game was to be decided in the last ten minutes. Both teams had chances to get the win; the
last one to put it away was given to the Pioneers, when senior forward Lauren Bellone made her way behind the defense but got the ball hooping away from her feet in the killer moment.
On Monday, Oct. 20, the Pioneers hit the road to face Philadelphia University for a top-dog clash on its narrow, bumpy grass field. The game was bouncing back and forth, and the game statistics showed even numbers in shot attempts and corner kicks; however, both teams were also unable to find the net—until the last minute.
In a late offensive scoop, the visitors stringed some passes together that eventually landed before Vistnes’ feet in the box. She managed to direct the ball in with a toe, and save the day for the Green and Gold.
The three points might become decisive in the favor of Head Coach Mark Dawson and his team, as they race for a spot in the National tournament. The Pioneers will continue on the road to wrap up the season, with four more away trips waiting. Next up will be Mercy College on Saturday, Oct. 25, with the kick-off set for noon.