WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Despite getting a jaw-dropping 17-save effort from junior Katy Pelletier (Topsfield, Mass.), the Connecticut College women's soccer team fell to Williams by a 3-2 score in overtime in a NESCAC Quarterfinal matchup at Cole Field on Saturday afternoon.
With overtime winding down, Williams was able to get the golden marker to advance to next weekend's semifinal round at Tufts on an own goal. Georgia Lord came driving down the right side after receiving a long pass from Victoria Laino and crossed the ball to her left once she made it into the box with a swarm of Camels running in to provide coverage for Pelletier. However, one of the many Camel defenders in the area accidentally lofted the ball into the net with 26 seconds on the clock to send the Ephs to the next round.
The nearly 100 minutes of action saw both teams in full attack mode and unleashing a combined 58 shots, including 27 on target. Williams was able to draw first blood in the 12th minute, as Rain Condie sent a ball diagonally down the left side of the field to Lord. The junior then lifted a shot on her second touch that hit off of Pelletier and into the back right corner to give the Ephs an early lead.
Connecticut College, however, had a quick answer in the 17th minute to tie the score. A hand ball called against Clare Tolliver from just outside the box resulted in sophomore Marielle McEnaney (Orleans, Mass.) rocketing the ensuing free kick to the top left corner of the net.
The teams exchanged goals again to eventually force overtime. After Laino scored on a free kick of her own in the 24th minute, Camel junior Kat Norton (Hampton, Mass.) evened the score in the early part of the second half when she fired a shot from outside the box that landed in the upper left corner of the net. Classmate Tori Kretzmer (Glastonbury, Conn.) was credited with an assist on the play.
Williams (9-4-2) had a 22-6 advantage in total shots in the second half, but a strong defensive effort by the back line along with a 10-save performance by Pelletier over the 45 minutes kept the match tied until the Ephs benefited from an own goal to survive and advance to face Middlebury next weekend.
Pelletier's career-best 17 saves for Connecticut College included making six stops in the first half, 10 in the second frame, and one in the overtime session. Chelsea Taylor turned away seven shots for the Ephs, who had a 36-22 shot advantage in the match and took five of the six corner kicks.
Connecticut College (10-5-1), which was ranked eighth in the latest NCAA Regional Rankings before earning a 2-0 win over fourth-ranked Wesleyan, will now wait to see if its resume is strong enough to earn its fourth bid to the NCAA Tournament over the last six years under the direction of head coach Norm Riker. The selections will be announced on Monday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.