Late scores lift women’s soccer past NYU and Brandeis this weekend
In the last 20 minutes of both games that the Washington University women’s soccer team played this weekend, the Bears found themselves level on the scoreboard against a conference opponent. In both games, the Bears managed to convert late chances into game-winning goals, securing a 2-1 victory over No. 21 New York University on Friday and a 1-0 win over Brandeis University on Sunday.
In the first game, Wash. U. played NYU in New York on Friday. Scoring in that game did not begin until the second half when sophomore Erin Flynn sent a ball into the back of the net after a cross from junior Ellie DeConinck. Prior to that goal, Wash. U. had controlled the game. The Bears outshot the Violets 8-0 in the first half, including five shots on goal. NYU goalkeeper Meghan Marhan saved all five shots. In the 33rd minute, senior Taylor Cohen squared off with Marhan in a one-on-one situation. The keeper came up with the save to keep the score level as the half wound down.
“I think when you’ve got a keeper that’s playing at a high level, like [Marhan] did, it’s just a matter of continually getting repetitions in front of her,” head coach Jim Conlon said. “Some crosses, some shots, some high service; if you mix up where she’s looking for the ball, maybe we’ll get a good opportunity.”
The Violets’ attack was more effective in the second half. They were credited with three shots on goal, all in the last 45 minutes of the game. In the 62nd minute, the score was evened up when junior goalkeeper Emma Greenfield stopped an NYU shot but was unable to stop the deflection from bouncing off her and into the back of the net.
In the 73rd minute, with the score tied, Cohen got another chance to square off against Marhan. This time, the Wash. U. forward won, beating the keeper to score the game-winning goal in the 2-1 game.
“Taylor’s game-winner at NYU was great,” DeConinck said. “It was great to see her senior experience and leadership really step in in that big moment. It was just a great hustle play all around. It was a great effort. It was great to see her finish that for us. It was a huge, game-changing play.”
The Bears earned six corner kicks to the Violets’ one.
On Sunday, the Bears took the field again, this time in Massachusetts to take on the Brandeis University Judges. The game was scoreless late as both keepers managed to stop an onslaught of shots they faced. Greenfield and Brandeis’ keeper Victoria Richardson combined to save 19 shots before either team managed to get on the scoreboard. The 20th shot, taken by Deconinck, broke the tie in the 89th minute. Sophomore Gabbie Cesarone got on the other end of a cross of a corner kick from junior Kristen Riekersdorfer. Cesarone’s shot hit the crossbar and the ball bounced dangerously in the box. DeConinck got to the ball and tucked it away before Brandeis could clear it.
“Brandeis came out with a great gameplan,” Conlon said. “They were ready to go, they were hungry, they were fast. I think they just got us on our heels a little bit. Thankfully, Emma [Greenfield] played a great game and was able to keep us in the game.”
Greenfield recorded her career-high in saves, stopping eight shots. Brandeis created high-quality opportunities, but Greenfield managed to ward each of them off. Through the first 14 games of the season, she had only saved 24 shots.
“Emma Greenfield was fantastic,” Conlon said. “We’ve played with her feet and let her distribute the ball quite a bit, but she made some great saves. Held balls in traffic. She really kept us in the game. She made eight saves, and every one of them counted. That would have cost us a result if we hadn’t scored late.”
The Bears beat Brandeis last year in similar fashion, scoring in the waning minutes of a tight game. They lead the all-time series against Brandeis 23-7-3.
Wash. U. is now 4-0 in University Athletic Association play. They will take on the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans at home Nov. 1.