Purple Knights fall on overtime goal to regionally-ranked Southern Connecticut State

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's soccer team went to double overtime with a regionally-ranked squad for the second straight game on Saturday, as Southern Connecticut State University junior Suzane Pires (Sao Paulo, Brazil/International School of Stuttgart) tallied with 11.2 seconds left to give the Owls a 1-0 Northeast-10 Conference win at Duffy Field. With the defeat, the Purple Knights, who have allowed one goal or less seven times, fall to 2-8-1 overall and 2-6-1 in the conference, while the Owls improve to 6-2-3 and 4-2-3.

Sophomore keeper Aubrey Ouellet (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) made four saves for Saint Michael's, who held a 17-11 advantage in shots.

Pires scored her second goal of the season, while first-year Elizabeth Nickerson (Seaford, Va./York) stopped seven shots to notch her fourth victory of the year for a Southern Connecticut State team ranked seventh in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) East Region poll. Nickerson was also aided by two team saves.

During the first overtime, Ouellet stopped shots from junior Laura Barberia (Pamplona, Spain/San Cernin) in the 91st and 94th minutes. Ouellet made another stop in the 95th minute on a shot from sophomore Stephanie Santos (Naugatuck, Conn./Naugatuck). Purple Knight sophomore Carley Pestana (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) sent a shot just wide of the right post in the 96th minute before firing a shot on target in the 98th minute that was saved.

Junior Katie Butler (Sayville, N.Y./Saint Anthony's) took a shot that sailed wide in the 103rd minute for the Purple Knights to open the second overtime. Ouellet broke up a cross in the 108th minute before stopping a long pass in the 109th. Pires sent a shot wide with 40 seconds remaining before scoring from the left side of the box with 11 seconds to go, picking up a loose ball after a long free kick was directed toward the middle of the box.

Purple Knight senior Kelly O'Brien (Troy, N.Y./Catholic Central) had the game's first scoring attempt in the second minute on a shot that was saved by Nickerson, and  first-year Josie Couch (Alton Bay, N.H./Brewster Academy) fired a shot off the post only seconds later. Ouellet made a diving play to intercept a cross from the right side in the ninth minute before getting in the way of a Southern Connecticut State corner kick in the 27th minute.

Saint Michael's created early offensive chances to begin the second half, starting with a shot from outside the box from senior Cassie Crockett (Gilmanton, N.H./Gilford) in the 55th minute that was saved by Nickerson. A shot by sophomore Meagan Brady (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley/Vermont) was saved by an Owl field player in the 58th minute before Couch fired a shot wide of the right post in the 63rd minute. Crockett was denied again in the 64th minute on a shot from the right side. Ouellet made a diving save in the 79th minute to keep the visitors off the board.

Sophomore Olivia Biron (Saint Albans, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) took a shot on net that was stopped by a Southern Connecticut State field player in the 80th minute, and Crockett's shot in the 81st minute was again turned away by Nickerson. Ouellet intercepted an Owl corner kick from the right side in the 88th minute to keep the game scoreless heading into overtime.

Saint Michael's returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts a Southern New Hampshire University team ranked eighth in this week's NSCAA regional poll at 3:30 p.m.