AMHERST, Mass. – The Connecticut College women's soccer team scored twice in the second half, which included a strike off a free kick in the 89th minute, to earn a 3-2 comeback victory over Amherst on Sunday afternoon at Hitchcock Field. The Camels rallied from behind twice to extend their unbeaten streak to eight straight matches and end a busy weekend in thrilling fashion.
The Camels took full advantage of a free kick they were awarded from just outside the box on the right side in the waning minutes. Sophomore Sara Kogelmann (Slingerlands, N.Y.) took the kick by sending in a bullet through all of the traffic in front of the goal, and the hard shot found its way past Amherst netminder Chelsea Cutler, who was shielded by her own defenders, for the deciding tally. The Camel defense then held off the ensuing attack by the Mammoths, who earned a corner kick in the final seconds, to seal the comeback win.
Trailing 2-1 at the break, Connecticut College continued to test Cutler throughout the second half before eventually breaking through twice. Senior Lauren Steele (Westford, Mass.) had a strong bid to net the equalizer when she sailed the ball wide left of the net five minutes into the frame, and freshman Kat Norton (Hampton, Conn.) hit the post shortly afterwards on a play in which she collided with a charging Cutler.
Senior Mackenzie Kingston (Charlotte, Vt.), however, was able to provide the equalizer in the 79th minute when she arched the ball perfectly over Cutler's head to make it 2-2. The Camels then dominated the last 10 minutes of play and got the deciding marker from Kogelmann down the stretch.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle in which the teams traded three goals through the opening 15 minutes. Hannah Guzzi put Amherst (3-4, NESCAC 1-3) on the board in the eighth minute when she finished a pass from Rubii Tamen, but the Camels had a quick answer just 39 seconds later. Norton, who scored the game-winning tally in yesterday's 1-0 win over Hamilton, charged down the left side to track down the ball near the endline, made her own move to evade a Mammoth defender and then lofted a shot to the far post to put the visitors on the board.
Even though Guzzi and Tamen connected again in the 16th minute to give the hosts a one-goal advantage at the break, their efforts were wiped out by a resilient Camel squad that rallied to score twice in the final 15 minutes of regulation.
Senior Bryanna Montalvo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) improved her mark to 6-0-1 this season between the pipes by making three saves for Connecticut College during an evenly played match which saw the teams finish with 13 shots apiece. Cutler suffered the loss after turning away four shots.
Connecticut College (7-0-1, NESCAC 4-0-1), which is ranked 20th by the United Soccer Coaches, will next travel to face No. 4 Williams in what will be a battle for first place in the NESCAC standings on Saturday, Sept. 30 at noon.