NEW LONDON, Conn.-Sophomore Sarah Hills scored with 21 seconds left in overtime to lift the Coast Guard women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory against visiting WPI in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference contest on Tuesday night at the CGA Track & Field Complex. The win improves Coast Guard's record to 5-7-0 (2-2-0 NEWMAC) while WPI falls to 8-4-1 (2-3-0 NEWMAC) on the season.
The deciding goal came in the 100th minute when freshman Terry Netusil made a pass to senior Kristen Euchler who then flicked the ball on to Hills. After a couple of touches, Hills delivered an arcing shot into the upper left corner to beat senior keeper Maddie Willer and give the Bears their second consecutive victory of the Engineers. The goal was the fourth of the season for Hills, and her third game-winner of the season for Coast Guard.
"It was great to be able to score that goal to help the team win," said Hills. "It was so rewarding to score there after the disappointment of hitting the crossbar earlier, but Kristen (Euchler) gave me a great pass and I was able to get a foot on it before getting the shot off."
Coast Guard had the first scoring chance of the match in the seventh minute when freshman Katie Clark settled a ball in the box, about eight yards from goal, but her attempt was saved by Willer.
WPI would mount a couple of chances of their own in the first half with the first occurring in the 27th minute. Senior Megan Forti found herself alone in the box with just junior keeper Holly Moore who made an outstanding save on her first attempt. Forti would collect the rebound but her follow-up shot would miss high over the crossbar and the threat was ended.
Moore finished the match with seven saves but none more impressive than one she made to close out the first half. Shortly before the half, in the 42nd minute, junior Emma Turton had a point blank opportunity but Moore made another incredible stop, sacrificing her body, and covering up the rebound a split-second before Forti could get a shot off.
Coast Guard had a great chance to score early in the second half as freshman Terry Netusil played a perfect through ball to Clark who was chased down by junior Jacqueline Lynch before she could get a shot off from inside the 18-yard box. The deflection fell to the feet of sophomore Sarah Hills whose 55th minute shot went high and wide.
Forti would let another unchallenged chance fall by the wayside for WPI in the 58th minute when a failed clearance by Coast Guard fell right to her feet about 10 yards from goal. However, instead of trying to settle the ball, she attempted a one-timer which she shanked wide and the match remained scoreless.
WPI sophomore Emily Doherty's shot was knocked down by Moore in the 74th minute falling to the feet of Forti whose attempt was blocked by a Coast Guard defender in yet another great chance for the Engineers.
Willer made five saves for WPI in the losing effort as she falls to 8-4-1 on the season. Moore improves her record to 3-5-0 now with her third victory in NEWMAC play.
In the 79th Forti's shot was again blocked from just outside of the six-yard box, this time by senior Judy Hooymans to keep the game scoreless.
Hills nearly gave the Bears a lead in the 83rd minute but her attempt bounded off the crossbar, falling to the feet of senior Kristen Euchler but Willer knocked the ball down with a diving stop. Netusil collected the rebound and let fly a shot that went wide and the match remained deadlocked.
The win was a milestone victory for the Bears, as it marks the first time that they have won multiple games in NEWMAC play in a single season since 2003. Head coach Susan Grant thinks this can be a great stepping stone for the team going forward and attributes the success of this year's team to depth that they haven't had in the past.
Coast Guard will return to action on Saturday, October 12th when they travel to Babson for a NEWMAC match-up at 1:00 pm. Their next home contest will be on Tuesday, October 22nd when they host perennial NEWMAC power Wheaton at 7:00 pm.
Head Coach Susan Grant: