The women’s soccer team started the season seeking to avenge its first failure to claim the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) title in three years.
After two weeks of play, the College is well on their way to achieving this goal. The Lions are undefeated with five victories, and have won two tournament titles in two weeks.
The College defeated the host school, State University of New York at Oneonta, and Hartwick College on consecutive days to win the Oneonta Mayor’s Cup.
The match against the Red Dragons was nothing short of a dog fight. After nearly 80 minutes of scoreless action, Oneonta took a late 1-0 lead on freshman forward Kayla Brantmeyer’s goal.
However, the Lions did not falter, and the visitors evened up the score on the first career goal by freshman midfielder Toni DeMaio. The rookie out of Parsippany tied up the contest on a beautiful cross from sophomore defender Annie McCarthy with 5:01 remaining.
The 1-1 tie sent the game into overtime, but one extra period was not enough.
Both teams fought hard into another overtime. But it was the co-captain Briann McDonough, who would be the hero. The junior forward netted a goal just 3:41 into the second overtime to secure the victory for the Lions.
“It’s great to see everyone get an opportunity,” senior goalkeeper Jess Clarke said, “It shows how much depth we have this season.”
McDonough’s goal was her second of the season, but this wasn’t her only clutch moment in the tournament. McDonough scored the only goal the Lions would need as they handily took down the Hawks of Hartwick College 5-0.
With her goal coming in the 20th minute, McDonough was later named the Most Valuable Offensive Player of the tournament. McCarthy, DeMaio and freshman forward Katie Landrigan were also named to the all-tournament team.
The forward tacked on a pair of goals just two minutes apart to solidify the Lions four-goal output in the second half. Goals were also scored in that period by youthful classmates Brenna Rubino and Alexa Rozzi, adding insurance for the College victory.
“This year we have 17 new players to the team,” Clarke said. “It is crucial that the returning players exhibit the proper way to maintain the reputation as one of the most respected programs in the country.”
Clarke just needed one save to record her third shutout of the year.
The Lions have been extremely efficient on both sides of the field, scoring an impressive 22 goals while only allowing two on defense.
“If we continue to work hard we can have a very successful and exciting year,” Clarke said.
The undefeated Lions continue the streak of road matches tonight, Sept. 16, as they travel to Swarthmore College to battle the Garnet at 7:30 p.m. The College will then trave to Kean University for the team’s first NJAC game of the season.