BEVERLY, Mass. - In a close contest between two bitter rivals, the Endicott College women's soccer team fell to Gordon 2-1 in overtime in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) semifinals to end their season. Endicott, the #1 seed in the CCC tournament, finishes the campaign with a 13-5-1 record overall, while #4 Gordon improves to 11-4-2 and will take on #2 Roger Williams on Saturday in the championship match.
The two teams would battle it out for the entire 93 minutes of play, producing nearly identical stats in every phase. The Gulls got on the board late in the first after Hailey Demers (Charlton, Mass.) made a run down the left wing and into the box only to get fouled hard and draw the penalty kick. Junior Mary Verneris (Hamden, Conn.) stepped to the spot to take the kick and was able to beat Gordon keeper Kali Denty (Marshfield, Mass.) to give the Gulls the 1-0 lead, with just under a minute and a half of play remaining. The goal was Verneris' 14th of the year
For the half, Endicott held a 9-6 advantage in shots, while each keeper made two saves. Both teams were whistled for four fouls while Endicott earned the lone corner of the half.
The second half would prove to be even more physical, as the two squads combined for 15 fouls. Endicott's best chance came in the 62nd minute when Hannah Pesci (Windham, N.H.) fired a shot on goal that Denty poked into the cross bar and out to keep it a one goal contest. The Fighting Scots struck for the equalizer in the 79th minute when Ashton Barkey (Parker, Colo.) took a feed from Kiersten Klose (Concord, N.H.) and finessed her way through a couple of defenders before shooting the ball just beyond the reach of Shelby Elwell (Litchfield, Conn.). The goal was Barkey's fifth of the season, as it would stand as the only offense either team could register before regulation ended.
The two teams advanced to the first overtime period that saw two quick offensive strikes, one for each team. Endicott possessed the ball first and was able to get a shot on goal by Verneris that Denty saved. The Fighting Scots then countered and came back down the other end. Barkey was able to get a shot off from the left wing that was angling towards the bottom right corner before Elwell made a diving save, poking the shot just wide. Unfortunately, her save found the foot of Lexi Potter (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) who buried the rebound to give Gordon the 2-1 overtime win.
BEYOND THE BOX
- Elwell made seven saves in the setback, setting a new career-high while ending the season with an 11-3-1 record.
- In the two matches between the schools this season, Verneris scored three goals, all by way of penalty kicks.
- The loss to Gordon snaps a four match win-streak for the Gulls, and a snaps 21 match streak in which the Gulls had not lost to the Scots, dating back to 2002 (the two teams tied twice, once in 2013 and once in 2008).
FOR THE FOES
- Potter's goal was her ninth of the season as she now leads Gordon with 20 points on the season.
- Denty would go on to make five saves to improve to 11-3-1 on the year.
#4 Gordon advances to play #2 Roger Williams in the CCC Championship match on Saturday, November 4.