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Defense holds tough in 0-0, double-overtime draw with Wesleyan

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Oppressive heat baked Wesleyan's Jackson Field as Colby women's soccer took the pitch in their second game of a two-day conference road trip. The Mules lost to Tufts 3-1 the day before, while the Cardinals returned home after a 2-1 road win over Bowdoin.

Both teams brought energy to the game despite difficult conditions and tired legs. Wesleyan worked the ball into its offensive end early but the Mules defense, as it has all season, remained stalwart, keeping the Cardinals out of the goal. Keeper Dani Lonati (pictured) anchored the effort in the first half, making two saves. Colby's attack did suffer a big setback when forward Olivia Greif went down and was helped off the field. Greif is the Mules leading scorer and a huge catalyst up front. Sophomore forward Juliette Nadeau helped pick up the slack, leading the team with two shots on goal, but the Mules could not find the back of the net in the half, and the game remained scoreless at the midway point.

Tension mounted in the second half as Wesleyan continued to press. The Cardinals peppered 11 shots towards goalie Shannon Gray, hitting the post several times. Gray made seven saves, though, and the Mules' defense stayed tough as well, blocking shots and minimizing the Cardinals opportunities with smart traps and big clears. Offensively, Colby continued to struggle, managing only three shots on goal, but they kept enough pressure on the Cardinals to maintain a tie through regulation. 

No strangers to overtime, the Mules continued to battle in extra time. Colby and Wesleyan traded blows, each managing two shots over the two overtime periods, but neither team conceded a goal. After 110 long, blistering minutes of soccer, the game remained tied 0-0, and Colby earned a hard fought point on the road.

Head Coach Kristin Shaw noted her teams effort and resiliency after the game. "The team played for each other today. It was a challenging NESCAC weekend with travel, heat, and back-to-back games. The players did a fantastic job of focusing on what they could control and competing until the final moment. To go into double overtime and hold a team with dangerous attackers scoreless speaks volumes about the effort and commitment of the players."

Colby, now 2-2-2 on the season, returns to action at Hamilton next Saturday, September 28th at  11:00 AM (EST).

 

(Photo courtesy of Calvin Whetmore '20)