Women’s soccer ties Manhattan in final home game of season, 1-1

Juliana Nikac

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Photo: Liz Flynn

Photo: Liz Flynn

After 110 minutes of back and forth soccer, the Quinnipiac women’s soccer team had to accept a 1-1 draw against Manhattan Wednesday afternoon. The Bobcats (7-6-3 overall, 4-2-3 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) missed out on a chance for three points, but still gave the Jaspers (8-6-2 overall, 6-2-1 MAAC) all they could handle.

Quinnipiac got the offense going early in this one, as early into the game Al Pelletier delivered two great passes that almost led to goals. Manhattan looked a little out of sorts to start the game, probably caused by the absence of their second leading point scorer, Arianna Montefusco. While Montefusco didn’t play, the only woman on the team with more points than her certainly did. Erica Modena was all over the field, causing nightmares for any Bobcat defender in her path.

“They had one player, [Modena] over the middle,” Ally Grunstein said. “We had a hard time following her.”

After the initial Quinnipiac attack was quelled, Modena was the catalyst for an equally dangerous Jasper offense. She created a chance for Manhattan on a breakaway, but they were stoned cold by Bobcat goalie Olivia Myszewski, as she dove to make one of her six saves on the day.

The middle portion of the first half was highlighted by two big missed opportunities. In a span of four minutes, Manhattan’s Emma Saul could’ve had two goals, but instead got nothing. On her first chance, she hit her shot just over the crossbar. The second time, though, Saul’s shot seemed destined for the back of the net after a great Manhattan attack. However, the ball couldn’t find its way under the bar, and it clanked off of it and out of bounds.

As the fast-paced half was coming to an end, Quinnipiac finally broke through. After the Bobcats’ Carly Glaser went down the line, she fed it to Grunstein, who was cool, calm, and collected.

“I saw an opening, I don’t think anyone was tracking me, and I placed it in the left corner,” Grunstein said.

That she did, and though Olivia Printy tried her best to save it, Quinnipiac took a 1-0 lead. That would be the last real action of the first half, and Quinnipiac went into the break with the lead and momentum. Both would change quickly.

Manhattan had Quinnipiac on their heels to start the second half, and Saul was finally rewarded after all of her close calls. After Modena set her up with a slick pass, Saul took her time, slid to her right, and buried the shot to level the match at one.

“When you don’t score the second goal when you’re on top, you allow teams to come back in,” Bobcats coach Dave Clarke explained. “And then it’s just one shot.”

Despite the two highest scoring teams in the MAAC each showing flashes from that point on, neither could break the deadlock. With seven minutes left, Modena led the Jaspers on yet another great chance, but her cross intended for Annie Doerr barely went wide. The end of regulation saw both teams back off, wanting to secure their point, so we headed to overtime with the same 1-1 score.

It’s not possible to have a more exciting start to overtime than these teams did. It began with Pelletier charging forward and crossing to Kylie Lance, who shot it wide. Immediately after, Myszewski saved a shot from Sophie Demurjian. Following that chance, Nadya Gill streaked down the field and flicked a cross that would’ve surely resulted in a goal, but was put just barely out of reach. With a minute remaining, Gill found Pelletier on a great pass, but Pelletier didn’t have enough room to pull the trigger, and we headed to a second overtime.

As exciting as the first overtime was, the second was the exact opposite, with exhaustion finally setting in for both teams. After a largely uneventful period, Gill gave it one more shot with 10 seconds left, and as it sailed wide, both teams came to terms with 1 point each in a very exciting 1-1 draw. Next up for Quinnipiac is their season finale at Canisius this Saturday at 1 p.m.