CASTLETON, Vt. - The Keene State women's soccer program battled to a double overtime draw with Castleton, 1-1, for the Owls' first tie of the season in the final non-conference game of 2017 at Spartan Stadium on Wednesday evening.
- Keene State: 9-7-1, 4-2-0 LEC
- Castleton: 9-7-2, 8-1-0 NAC
How It Happened
Castleton jumped out to an early lead after Makenzi Bellando buried the first shot of the match for either side. Rylee Nichols found space in her own defensive zone and lofted a long through ball over the Keene State defense, where Bellando raced in and hammered a low shot inside the left post to give the Spartans a 1-0 advantage just 4:51 into the contest.
Keene State controlled possession for the majority of the first period, outshooting Castleton, 10-1, over the opening frame. Senior Taylor Farland netted the equalizer in the 25th minute after finishing a free kick from senior Katie Silegy just outside the box. The Owls came away with more opportunities in the period, but the Spartans' goalkeeper Kiley Baran was strong with five saves to keep the match at 1-1 after 45 minutes.
Both defenses tightened up in the second half to prevent any strong scoring chances. Nichols found a clear lane and spun a shot on goal, but Owls' keeper freshman Shelby Offord made the save to keep Castleton at bay. Baran made four more saves in the second half, and the Spartan defense forced a multitude of tough-angled shots to send the match to overtime.
The Owls came away with all four shots in the first overtime period, but none were on goal as Castleton's defense held down the pressure. Bellando broke past the defense late in the extra period, but was called offside on the play to nullify the opportunity.
A back-and-forth second overtime period saw chances open up on both ends. Nichols struck the first shot on goal just over one minute into the period, while senior Julia Pearson nearly ended it for Keene State but her bending shot sailed just over the crossbar. Nichols sent a free kick into the box in the waning seconds, but the Owls' defense prevailed as the score remained 1-1 when the final buzzer went off.
Inside the Box
- Keene State held an advantage in shots over Castleton, 27-5, including 11-3 on goal, while each team finished with three corner kicks.
- For the Owls, Offord collected two saves, while Baran made 10 stops for the Spartans.
- Farland is now seventh all-time in goals scored with 40 and is just one goal away from being tied for fifth all-time with Jennifer Ortisi (2000-2003) and Jessica Berthiaume (2010-2013). Farland also comes in at eighth all-time in points with 93.
- Keene State will play their regular-season finale on Saturday, October 28th at UMass Dartmouth in Little East Conference (LEC), beginning at 4:30 p.m.
- Castleton will head into conference playoffs and will await their opponent for the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) semifinals on Tuesday, October 31st.
(Portions of this release courtesy of Castleton)