Springfield, Mass. -- September 4, 2009 -- Caitlin Sawczuk tallied both goals, including one just 3:44 into overtime, to lead the Springfield College women's soccer team to a 2-1 extra session victory over Westfield State in the season opener for both squads at Brock-Affleck Field at Springfield's Irv Schmid Sports Complex. This was game #1 of the Springfield College Invitational. In game #2, Eastern Conn scored two second-half goals to take down Utica, 2-1.
Springfield thus becomes 1-0, while Westfield State falls to 0-1. SC will play the winner of tonight's second game, Eastern Connecticut, in the championship game Saturday at 7:30 pm. Westfield State finds itself in the consolation game tomorrow at 5:00 pm and will play Utica.
The Pride entered the game ranked 18th in the country in the preseason NSCAA National Rankings.
In game #1, neither team could score in the first half, as both goalkeepers, Springfield junior Katie Delude (Ludlow, Mass.) and Westfield State sophomore Jessica Pieciak (Three Rivers, Mass.) kept their opponents off the board.
But just 6:50 into the second half, Sawczuk tallied the game's first goal. SC sophomore midfielder Jackie Moscardelli (Weymouth, Mass.) fed a touch pass to the top of the box, and Sawczuk, a senior forward and co-captain from Plainville, Conn., then put the finishing touches on the shot, which deflected off the goalkeeper.
It did not take long, however, for the Owls to tie matters at 1-all. Just four minutes and eight seconds later, junior midfielder Kelly Gonet (Southwick, Mass.) scored on a header following a corner kick by junior midfielder Kate MacLellan (Wilbraham, Mass.).
Solid opportunities were relatively few for the rest of regulation, although Westfield State had a 9-5 shots on goal advantage in the second half.
But it all ended fairly quickly in the first overtime. Freshman back Allie Davis (Fairfield, Conn.) gathered the ball, and then fed a streaking Sawczuk who was headed in from the right side. Sawczuk then beat the WSC goalkeeper to the upper right hand corner to give the Pride the 2-1 victory.
Delude finished with four saves for the Pride, Pieciak a like number for the Owls. WSC outshot Springfield, 12-7, overall. SC finished with seven corner kicks to WSC's four.
In game #2, Eastern Connecticut defeated Utica, 2-1, but it took two second-half goals fairly late in the game to secure the win.
In the first half, senior forward Danielle Smith (Verona, N.Y.) scored Utica's lone goal at the 7:24 mark. The tally was unassisted.
Then it took awhile before Eastern Conn scored at 75:51. The goal was scored by freshman midfielder Kelly Wallace (South Windsor, Conn.), also unassisted. And it took only 42 seconds later for the Warriors to take the lead. That goal was scored by senior forward Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.), assisted by Wallace.
Eastern Conn outshot Utica, 23-3, including 15-0 in the second half. In goal, senior Kindra Fiveash (Holland Patent, N.Y.) was credited with three saves in the Utica net. For Eastern, senior goalkeeper Kim Church (Farmington, Conn.) did not register a save.