NEW LONDON, Conn.-With ten seconds to play in overtime, sophomore Sarah Hills gave the Coast Guard women's soccer team their first victory in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference play against Clark on Friday night at the CGA Track Complex. With the victory, Coast Guard improves to 4-6-0 (1-1-0 NEWMAC) on the season while Clark falls to 2-7-0 (0-2-0 NEWMAC).
The game-breaking play came in the 100th minute when freshman Terry Netusil gave an all-out effort to jump over a much taller defender to head the ball forward to Hills from the top of the 18. Hills caught up with it just outside of the six-yard box and got just enough on it with her toe to beat Clark's sophomore keeper Gabby Paolini.
Just five minutes earlier Hills had a great chance as she let fly a blast from 18 yards out but it hit off the outside of the Clark goal post.
Senior Janelle Pasternack got Clark on the board first in the 14th minute when she controlled a ball in the box while being defended before putting a shot off the body of Coast Guard junior keeper Holly Moore that ricocheted into the net.
Pasternack had a chance to score earlier in the match when she came streaking down the far side and took a pass, but her shot from 12 yards out went high over the crossbar in the 11th minute.
Coast Guard would even the match in the 19th minute when Netusil notched her third goal of the season after taking a pass from Hills. After taking two touches to settle the ball, Netusil let fly with a shot that beat Paolini to her far side for the equalizer.
The first scoring opportunity came in the ninth minute when Netusil forced a turnover deep in the Clark end of the field and delivered a perfectly placed ball to sophomore Caroline Eastman but her shot went high.
Shortly before the half, in the 42nd minute, freshman Katie Clark took possession of the ball after a heel flick by Netusil but Paolini came diving out to break up the shot attempt and force the attempt wide of net.
Sophomore Madison Ahlers had a chance to give the Bears the lead midway through the second half when she let rip on a shot from 20 yards out but Paolini made the stop for Clark. Coast Guard definitely seemed to play the role of the aggressor in the second half as they dominated the possession battle as well as having more quality scoring chances.
The Bears even got a little help from the post in this one in the 79th minute. Freshman Haley Connors found herself wide open five yards from the goal line after a cross from senior Afra Danai but her rushed shot caromed off the near side post right to the feet of Danai whose shot went wide and the threat was ended.
That flurry of activity came just a minute after Katie Clark's header found Ahlers wide open but she was unable to get a good attempt on goal.
The victory over Clark is the first for Coast Guard since a 2-1 win on the road in 2010 when this year's seniors were freshmen. The Bears move to 4-10-0 all-time against the Cougars and have played them very evenly the last four seasons.
The team returns to action on Saturday, October 5th when they travel to Smith for their first NEWMAC road contest of the season. They'll return home on Tuesday, October 8th when they host WPI with game time set for 7:00 pm.
Head Coach Susan Grant: