Late Goal Salvages Important Point For Women's Soccer Versus Cougars
Striker Camille Plett got the finishing touch on an 88th minute equalizing goal on Sunday afternoon as Women's Soccer came back to tie the first-place ACC Cougars 1-1 at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex.
With illness making it's way through the Women's Soccer roster during the past week, Sunday's point became a big one and may prove vital as the six MCAC teams jockey for four playoff positions over the final three weeks of the 2018 regular season. Plett came close to putting the home team ahead in the 19th minute when Marijka Yaschyshyn's cross came inches away from the fifth-year's sliding effort to score.
Minutes later, Yaschyshyn would make a breakaway-saving tackle to prevent ACC's captain Jerra Green from a free path to goal. After CMU threatened with back to back corner kicks in the 35th minute of the first half, a strong Cougars clearance allowed Green to escape and break for goal. With a smooth dribble and a tidy finish, the current MCAC goal-leader tapped in her 10th of the campaign and lifted the visitors to a 1-0 lead.
Determined, Plett continued to create scoring chances for herself and her teammates over the final forty-five. Five minutes after the restart, Melissa Gilbert came within inches of leveling the match from a Plett cross, but her touch just missed the target. In the 71st minute, Plett broke free from her defender on the right side of goal but wasn't able to locate a teammate as three CMU attackers slid in an attempt to score.
With two minutes remaining in the regular time, Gilbert lobbed a pass to her teammate over an ACC defender and Plett did the rest, settling the ball from chest to boot and counting her 8th goal of the MCAC season and 11th goal of the month. 1-1 after 88 minutes.
Despite only having two minutes left in the match, there was still time for heroics. With all the pressure coming in front of the ACC goal in the second half, third-year goalkeeper Lydia Balsillie was alert to save the game for CMU. Moments before the referee blew the final whistle, Green led Stephanie Jones in on goal. With a crunching challenge, Balsillie reacted quickly to snuff out the final chance and save the point for her team.
With the 1-1 full time result, Women's Soccer moves to 6 points on the season with a record of 1-3-1. The Blazers end the weekend one point out of the final playoff position with a match in hand on the Providence Pilots who sit above CMU with 7 points. Level on points with Providence, the Red River Rebels are Women's Soccer's next opponents. The Blazers and Rebels meet next Saturday afternoon at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex in a match that will bring all the MCAC team to six matches played.