October 2, 2012

Crockett strikes in second OT, nets winner against Franklin Pierce for second straight year

RINDGE, N.H. - For the second straight season, senior Cassie Crockett (Gilmanton, N.H./Gilford) netted the game-winning goal to lift the Saint Michael's College women's soccer team past regionally-ranked Franklin Pierce University, 2-1, this time tallying in double overtime on Tuesday evening at Sodexo Field. The marker came with 5:23 left in the second extra stanza, the same time that remained in regulation when Crockett struck for the winner last Sept. 14.

The Purple Knights, who continued a stretch of facing four consecutive regionally-ranked teams, improved to 2-7-1 overall and 2-5-1 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Ravens slipped to 5-4-1 and 4-4-1. Saint Michael's is now 3-0-1 in its last four trips to Rindge and holds a 4-2-1 overall series edge since 2006 against a Franklin Pierce squad that has gone to 19 of the past 20 NCAA Tournaments. The Ravens are 10th in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) East Region poll.

Crockett was joined in the scoring column by junior Jordyn Mallett (Winslow, Maine/Winslow), while sophomore Aubrey Ouellet (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) made eight saves. A defensive midfielder, Mallett's goal was the second of her career. First-year Hannah Weagle (Ipswich, Mass./Ipswich) scored for the Ravens, while senior Lauren Brewer (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) made four saves.

Crockett's winning play came on just the Purple Knights' second shot of the overtime periods. Sophomore Olivia Biron (Saint Albans, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) dribbled toward goal and lofted a pass in the direction of Crockett, who sent the ball into the center portion of the net for her second tally of the season, and her first career golden goal, at 104:37.

Franklin Pierce nearly got on the board in the second minute of the opening half, with a Raven's shot ringing the crossbar, and Ouellet denied Weagle in the third minute. Sophomore Meagan Brady (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley/Vermont) countered by being turned aside twice in the opening 12 minutes for the Purple Knights, and the hosts eventually broke the stalemate in the 27th minute. From just outside the box, Weagle jumped on a loose ball and picked an upper corner at 26:10 for the lone scoring in the opening half.

Ouellet kept her team within striking distance early in the second stanza, turning in stops during the 47th and 53rd minutes, and Mallett knotted the contest at 57:58. Following a corner kick by first-year Josie Couch (Alton Bay, N.H./Brewster Academy), sophomore Carley Pestana (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) touched to Mallett at the left top corner of the box, and the midfielder slipped the ball into the lower right corner of the net.

Weagle nearly put her team back on top in the 73rd minute, but a Saint Michael's field player stopped Weagle's bid, and a follow-up attempt by a teammate went wide. Crockett's 82nd-minute go-ahead bid for the visitors was saved, and Ouellet posted another stop in the final minute of regulation to force overtime.

Franklin Pierce took all three of the shots attempted in the first overtime, with Ouellet saving a 94th-minute try, and Biron and a Raven traded high shots in the opening four minutes of the second extra session prior to Crockett's heroics.

Saint Michael's hosts its next two contests, beginning by taking on Southern Connecticut State University on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Owls are seventh in this week's NSCAA East Region poll.

The Edmundite Catholic Liberal Arts College