Final Second Goal Lifts Rowan Past Women's Soccer

UNION, N.J. (10/23/10) – Rowan sophomore Marina Mangano headed in a cross from senior Jess Babice with 2.3 seconds left in double overtime to lift the Profs past host Kean University, 4-3, in New Jersey Athletic Conference soccer action on Saturday evening.

Babice scored twice and assisted on the other two goals for #23 Rowan (14-1-1, 7-1 NJAC), while the three goals scored by the Cougars (8-5-4, 2-3-3 NJAC) were the most by a Rowan opponent all season. 

For the Cougars, senior Leandra Russo made eight saves, while sophomore Julianna Natale (pictured right) had a pair of goals.

In a back-and-forth first half, Rowan took the 1-0 lead in the 13th minute when Babice beat Russo in front of the goal off the pass from junior forward Veronica Rhea from 30-yards out. 

Just over 11 minutes later, Kean answered with a pair of goals less than a minute apart to give the Cougars the 2-1 advantage midway through the opening half. 

Natale tied the game with a lined shot off the crossbar and into the net, before Kean senior Samantha Ciccone (pictured left) gave the Cougars the 2-1 lead, scoring on a short header off the assist from junior Lauren Small at 24:32.

With less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Rowan tied the game on an unassisted goal by Babice in the 37th minute, before sophomore Michele Ercolano gave Rowan a 3-2 halftime lead with the goal off the assist from Babice with 3:59 left in the first half.

Natale tied the game at 3-3 with 13:06 remaining in regulation when she converted the penalty kick. 

Late in the second overtime, the game appeared to be headed for the tie, before Babice took a pass along the right sideline with less than 10 seconds remaining, and crossed the ball in front of the goal to Mangano, who headed it the shot past Russo for the game-winner. 

Rowan goalkeeper Jillian Brannan made three saves in the victory.

The Cougars travel to NJAC leader William Paterson University in the regular season finale on Wednesday, October 27, at 4 p.m.  Kean is currently tied for fifth in the NJAC standings, as the top six teams advance to the NJAC tournament.