UNION, N.J. (9/17/13) – Senior Stephanie Soares scored the first and last Kean University goals of the night as the field hockey team overcame a 2-0 deficit to stun William Paterson University 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday. It was the first NJAC contest of the year for both teams.
Despite being outshot 11 to four in the first half, William Paterson scored the first two goals of the night. Jessica Nendze created the first one all on her own by dribbling in from 25 yards out, and Felicia Wetzel set up Brianne Cox for the second after a penalty corner and a scramble in front for the ball.
With just 90 seconds remaining in the period, Soares dribbled the ball into the circle for Kean. Without many options, the senior flipped a backhanded shot towards the net that looked like it may have been deflected. The ball found the upper right-hand corner of the cage to cut the Cougars' halftime deficit to just one.
Just six minutes after the break, Claire Keenan took the ball down into the circle for Kean and created a loose ball deep in the Pioneer zone. Many sticks were in on the play, but freshman Bridgette Bottinelli (pictured left) was there to finish it and knot the proceedings at two.
Off a Kean corner with 18 minutes left, WPU goalie Kellye Statz made a great toe save on a shot by Marissa Robinson during a series of six-straight corners for the Cougars to help keep the rest of the period scoreless. Kean goalie Katie DiCarlo also played well and made eight saves in what was the most challenging defensive day the Cougars have had thus far this season.
In the waning seconds of regulation Kean defender Stephanie Rios stood up an odd-man rush for William Paterson to help send the game to overtime.
The Cougars dominated the extra frame, taking seven shots without allowing any. Finally in the 77th minute, Kean had a rush and Laura Cheatham got off a shot from the right side. Statz made the initial save, but the rebound came right to Soares and she completed the Cougar comeback with the overtime game-winner.
Kean will wrap up its season-long four-game homestand on Saturday with a 1 p.m. game against Roanoke University.