SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College women's soccer team played to a 1-1 draw against American International College on Friday night in Northeast-10 Conference play from the MassMutual Soccer field.
The Hawks, who came into the match ranked 10th in the first NCAA Division II East Region poll, are now 7-6-1 on the year and 7-4-1 in NE10 play. They picked up a crucial point on the road and now sit in a fifth-place tie with Assumption College in the league standings, as both teams now have 22 points. The Yellow Jackets are now 7-8-1 and 5-6-1 in league play.
Saint Anselm Head Coach Joel Bancroft was proud of the effort, even though his team had to battle every step of the way.
"AIC was well up for this match and gave us everything we could handle," explained Bancroft. "To be fair, they outplayed us for long stretches."
"However, we held together and absorbed just enough pressure to come out with an enormous road point. Any successful program I've seen has the ability to not be at their best on the road and still find their way to a result," Bancroft said.
"I'd like to think this was a step in that direction tonight," he went on. "Everyone worked extremely hard throughout our three lines. Payton (Wildrick) and her teammates in the backline picked us up in big moments."
American International wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. A through ball from Federica Frew to Taylor Kue set up the first goal of the game. Kue shot to the lower left part of the net to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead at the 3:11 mark of the first half.
The Hawks answered with just over eight minutes gone in the first half. A foul inside the box gave the guests a penalty kick. Junior Caly Farina (Southbury, Conn.) took full advantage of the opportunity to knot the game up at one goal apiece.
After the first 45 minutes of play, American International had a 4-2 edge in shots (2-1 shots on goal), but the Hawks had a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks. In the second half, the Hawks managed just three shots, with one landing on net while the Yellow Jackets had 12 shots, with six of them going on target. Sophomore keeper Payton Wildrick (Dartmouth, Mass.) made all six saves to keep the game tied at one.
Wildrick made a pair of saves in the second overtime period, including one in the final 34 seconds to keep the game tied and hold on for the draw.
American International had a 22-7 shot advantage in the game, including 10-2 in shots on goal. The Hawks held a slim 5-4 margin in corner kicks in the game.
Saint Anselm welcomes the Chargers from the University of New Haven on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. for the final home contest of the regular season.