WSU defeats Smith in OT

NORTHAMPTON – Amanda Grant scored the game-winning goal with 36 seconds left in overtime to lift Westfield State University to a 3-2 win over host Smith College in non-conference women’s soccer action on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Smith, which was playing in overtime for the third consecutive game, falls to 3-3-1, while Westfield State improves to 5-3.
The Pioneers had lost the last five meetings with Westfield State by shutout, but Smith put on the pressure early, as GiGi Ross sent a pair of headers wide. Smith got on the board in the 20th minute when Innis Hitt picked up a loose ball and let rip a driving effort that beat Westfield State goalie Anne Stack to the left for her second marker of the season.
The Owls were level within 30 seconds. A defensive miscue by Smith allowed Ashleigh Chretien to slide a short pass to Amanda Ray, who was left with a tap-in to tie the game.
Westfield State grabbed a 2-1 lead early in the second half. Chretien was again the provider, setting up Sarah Sypek for her third goal of the year, Smith was nearly even at 2-2 five minutes later but Stack made a fingertip save to push Olivia Ruiz’s header over the crossbar. The Owls were denied in the 65th minute, as shots from Hannah Zannnini and Chretien were blocked by the Smith defense.
Smith kept pushing for an equaliser, as GiGi Ross played in Jordan Houston and Innis Hitt, but their efforts were saved by Stack. The Pioneers found an equaliser with 1:16 left in regulation. Jackie Foody raced down the right sideline and beat Stack to the far side of the net with a long range effort for her first collegiate goal, sending the game to overtime.
The first overtime period saw plenty of action, as Smith ‘keeper Alanna Lynch wrapped up a shot from Lauren Marshall in the 98th minute, and stopped Chretien’s header just ahead of the first overtime whistle. The second overtime looked to be heading for a draw until Grant sidefooted home the game winner with 36 seconds to play, with an assist from Marshall.
Lynch finished with a career high 11 saves, while Stack, who was making her first collegiate start, made five stops for Westfield State.
Smith will resume NEWMAC play with a trip to Babson College on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. Westfield State will host Bridgewater State on Saturday in a key MASCAC game that is slated for a 1 p.m. start.

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