Castleton, Vt. (9/6/15) –Sophomore Kaitlyn Pallitto's goal in the 85th minute secured a 4-3 victory for the Kean University women's soccer team in the consolation contest of the Rutland Herald Invitational Sunday afternoon.
Kean (1-2) outshot the hosts 22-9 and put 12 shots on goal en route to the victory. For Castleton, Nicole Wershoven and Kiley Baran were on-target with their first scores of the year, while Eva Clark added an assist. Pallitto and Sabrina Pascarella led the Cougars offense with two goals apiece.
The Cougars wasted little time to jump in front, as Pallitto found the back of the net just over four minutes into play. Jordyn Bronsky threaded a pass to Pallitto in the middle of the field, and the sophomore forward slipped a shot just past Jessica Binkowski to put Kean ahead by one.
Wershoven erased the Spartan deficit at the 18-minute mark to bring the game back to level terms.
With just over ten minutes remaining in the half, Pallitto found the back of the net for Kean once again, but she was ruled offsides and the game remained tied heading into the break.
The Cougars got off to another quick start in the second half, as they reclaimed the lead just four minutes into play. After Castleton failed to clear Kean's corner from the box, Michelle Fitzula fired a shot towards goal that was blocked, but Pascarella (pictured left) was able to collect the rebound and knock it home to put the visitors ahead 2-1.
Just over three minutes later, the game was back to even terms after an own goal by the Cougars made it 2-2. Kinnan Latremore delivered a cross from the wing near Mallory Costello in front of the net, but the senior narrowly missed grabbing her fifth goal of the year. Fortunately for the hosts, the ball deflected off a defender and past the keeper to tie the score at two.
The score didn't stay level for long, however, as Kean produced a third goal in the 54th minute to reclaim the lead. Gabrielle Cucinotta found Pascarella in the box, and the freshman forward beat the keeper with a strike to put the visitors in front 4-3.
The back-and-forth continued until 74th minute when Shelby McLenithan was brought down in the box, and a penalty was awarded to Castleton. Kiley Baran stepped up to the penalty spot and buried the shot into the bottom right corner of the net to even the game at three.
Just a few minutes later, Kean nearly had a penalty kick of their own after a Kean player was brought down, but the referee placed the free kick just outside the box and the ball was eventually cleared from danger.
The Cougars maintained their attacking form late in the game, and with less than five minutes remaining in the match, Pallitto netted the game winner. On the break, Brittany Birth slipped a pass between two defenders to Pallitto, and with just the keeper to beat, she slotted the ball inside the near post to secure the 4-3 victory.
In net, KC Nunez produced a three-save effort to capture her first win of the year.
For her efforts, Pallitto was named to the Rutland Herald Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Kean returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to FDU-Florham for a 7 p.m. matchup.