BOSTON, Mass. – Trailing 2-1 with less than three minutes to play in regulation, the Emmanuel College women's soccer team scored two late goals to come from behind and defeat the University of Saint Joseph, 3-2, Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Roberto Clemente Field. The Saints improve to 8-8-1 overall and 5-3-1 in the GNAC with the win, while the loss drops the Blue Jays to 5-9-1 and 3-5-1 in conference play.
Up against the clock, the Saints began to play a direct brand of soccer with about 10 minutes to play in regulation, sending everything forward. After a USJ foul during the 81st minute of action, senior Maggie Carey (Swampscott, MA) appeared to even the score at 2-2 connecting on free kick from 25 yards out, but the goal was waved off because the kick was ruled to be an indirect restart which negated Carey's direct kick into the back of the net.
The Saints then got the equalizer with 2:57 to play when sophomore Emily Medeiros (Barrington, RI) found the back of the net for her first collegiate goal. A failed Blue Jay clear found the foot of Medeiros about 25 yards out and the midfielder fired a right-footed strike into the upper left corner to tied the game at 2-2.
Emmanuel completed the comeback with the game-winner just 27 seconds later as freshman forward Natalie Dash (East Hampton, CT) was credited with the tally. The Saints swarmed the Blue Jays on the kick off and immediately regained possession of the ball and began the counterattack. Freshman Kaylin Deschenes (Lynn, MA) fired the initial shot towards the USJ goal that started the play. An attempted clear on the Deschenes shot deflected off the back of Dash who was charging onto the goal. Amongst a scrum in front of the net, the ball eluded freshman keeper Megan Ricci (Center Moriches, NY) and found its way into the goal with 2:30 to play in regulation to put the home team ahead, 3-2.
The Blue Jays had one more chance to answer and even the game as junior forward Jessica Spezzano (Watertown, CT) had a semi-break away with just under a minute to play, but her shot attempt sailed over the goal to help the hosts hang on for the 3-2 win.
In the first half, USJ jumped out to a 1-0 lead on freshman Olivia Norton's (Berlin, CT) second goal her rookie campaign. The midfielder ran through a bounding ball deep in the Emmanuel box and used her momentum to direct the ball into the back of the net at the 29:53 mark.
EC tied the game at 1-1 on Deschenes' third goal of the season during the 35th minute of play. The rookie connected on a right-footed strike from 25 yards out to even the score, but the lead was short-lived as the Blue Jays regained the lead just 48 seconds after on a goal by Spezzano. Sophomore Amanda Ghent (Portland, CT) played a through ball past the last EC defender and Spezzano did the rest for her team-leading fifth goal of the year to make it a 2-1 game at halftime.
The Saints outshot the Blue Jays 25-15 and attempted seven corner kicks compared to one by the visitors. EC's junior goalkeeper Victoria LaRoche (Hudson, NH) ended the afternoon with four saves to earn the win, while Ricci was credited with 10 stops for USJ.
Emmanuel returns to action on Wednesday, October 19 when they hit the road for a GNAC contest at Saint Joseph's College (ME) at 3:00 p.m. The Blue Jays are back the same day when they head to Anna Maria College for a 4:00 p.m. GNAC tilt.