The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Soccer Semifinals are complete, as No. 4 Husson and No. 2 Castleton earned victories and will move on to compete for the 2017 NAC Championship title.
The Eagles earned a 1-0 double-overtime upset win over top-seeded Colby-Sawyer, while No. 2 Castleton claimed a 2-1 victory over No. 3 New England College.
Husson will travel to Castleton for a doubleheader championship with the men on Saturday, November 4. The women's championship will be played at 4:00 p.m. followed by the men's at 7:00 p.m., as the Spartan men will take on Colby-Sawyer.
Last week, Sunday, October 22, when Castleton and Husson competed, the Spartans posted a 2-1 win over the Eagles.
The NAC Champion will receive an automatic berth to the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship.
2017 NAC WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
All start times and dates are subject to change
Championship • TBD
No. 4 Husson at No. 2 Castleton - 4:00 p.m. - Video
No. 4 Husson 1, No. 1 Colby-Sawyer 0 (2OT) - Boxscore
The fourth seed Husson women's soccer team upset top seed Colby-Sawyer, 1-0, in double overtime in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) semifinals on Tuesday afternoon.
The Eagles improve to 9-6-1 and will face the winner of Castleton/New England College in the NAC title match. Colby-Sawyer ends its season at 12-3-1.
The game-winning goal came in the opening moments of the second overtime period off the foot of freshman Brianna Saulter (Hermon, Maine). Saulter gained possession just outside the six-yard box then used a spin move to evade a pair of Colby-Sawyer defenders. Saulter then snuck the ball past the dive of Colby-Sawyer keeper Sam Mitchell (Chester, N.H.) and inside the right post to complete the upset.
In an evenly played match throughout, each side had their chances in regulation but were denied by fine goalkeeping. Colby-Sawyer finished with an 18-16 edge in shots (10-9 on goal) and each team took a pair of corner kicks.
Husson keeper Sami Ireland (Howland, Maine) earned the clean sheet with 10 saves. Mitchell finished the match with eight saves.
--Courtesy of Colby-Sawyer Sports Information
No. 2 Castleton 2, No. 3 New England College 1 - Boxscore
The No. 2-seeded Castleton women's soccer team got a pair of second-half goals from Rylee Nichols and Makenzi Bellando to down third-seeded New England College, 2-1, Tuesday night at Spartan Stadium and advance to the North Atlantic Conference Championship.
Castleton improves to 10-7-2 on the season and marches on to host fourth-seeded Husson in the conference championship on Saturday, Nov. 4, with a time to be determined. New England College concludes its season with an 8-9-2 overall record following the loss.
After a scoreless first half, action picked up quickly in the second half as Nichols opened the scoring just over five minutes into the final stanza. Bellando took the ball deep into the offensive zone and sent a cross to the center of the box, where Nichols spun around a defender and lifted a right-footed shot into the top left corner of the net to give Castleton a 1-0 advantage in the 51st minute of the contest.
New England College played more aggressive on the offensive attack in search of the equalizer, and Michaela Pomeroy provided the Pilgrims with a spark after going short side with a line-drive shot from the left side of the box that found just enough room inside the left post and snuck past Spartan keeper Kiley Baran to draw the match even, 1-1, in the 60th minute.
After back-and-forth action over the next 10-plus minutes, Castleton found the back of the net once more to retake the lead for good. Kinnan Latremore controlled possession before sending a pass over to Bellando, who drove a 30-yard shot over the hands of Pilgrims' keeper Kayla Pugliese and under the crossbar for the go-ahead goal with just under 18 minutes left in regulation.
Emily LePage and Nicole Cotrone both came away with strong opportunities down the stretch for New England College, but Baran made a pair of key saves to hold off the Pilgrims as Castleton earned the 2-1 victory.
Baran finished with four saves -- all in the second half -- for Castleton to improve to 10-3-1 on the season. Pugliese stopped six shots in the loss for New England College.
New England College held an advantage in shots, 15-12, while the Spartans outshot the Pilgrims on goal, 8-5. Corner kicks finished 7-3 in favor of New England College, while the Spartans committed five fouls to the Pilgrims' nine.
--Courtesy of Castleton Sports Information