ALBANY, N.Y. – The Saint Anselm College women's soccer team opened its Northeast-10 conference play with a 1-1 draw against the 16th-ranked College of Saint Rose on Saturday afternoon at the Plumeri Sports Complex.
Both teams remain undefeated on their early seasons as Saint Anselm is now 2-0-2 on the year and 0-0-1 in NE10 play. Saint Rose concludes its four straight home games with a 3-0-1 record and an 0-0-1 in conference play. Last season, the Hawks were defeated by the Golden Knights in the conference quarterfinals by a 5-0 score.
After Saturday's contest, the Hawks have held their last four opponents to just two goals in total. That marks the first time since 2006 that a team has allowed two or fewer goals to open their season in program history. The 2-0-2 record is the best start for the Hawks since 1999 when Saint Anselm went 4-0.
"The group did remarkably well with a really tough early season test on the road," said head coach Joel Bancroft. "We started fast and full of confidence. The game took many twists and turns along the way and by no means are we content. We will take a very hard earned point back to Manchester and go again on Wednesday."
Saint Rose wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Olivia Boucher sunk a shot in the lower left part of the net that gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead at the 14:39 mark of the first half.
Following the goal, Saint Anselm rattled off four corner kicks in a five-minute span but could not convert on any of its chances. The Golden Knights' lead was maintained for the rest of the first half. Throughout the first 45 minutes, both teams were even on shots, 2-2, but the Hawks had the advantage on corners, totaling seven.
The Hawks answered five minutes into the second half which began with a corner kick on the left side. From about 12 yards out, junior Suzanne Cotter (Acton, Mass.) headed the ball into the back of the net off a deflection.
Junior Payton Wildrick (Dartmouth, Mass.) made three saves down the stretch, including one off a Saint Rose free kick just a few feet away from the left line of the box. That save kept the game tied at the 70:15 mark. Wildrick concluded the day with four saves.
A key scoring chance for the Hawks came with five minutes remaining in regulation. Senior Caly Farina (Southbury, Conn.) gathered a ball off a broken down play in the box and uncorked a shot inside the top part of the goal but Marika Laurendeau reached up over her head and stopped it from going in.
Saint Rose had most of the possession in the final two overtime periods. The team totaled four corners in the first extra time period.
The Hawks conclude their four-game road trip and return back to Melucci Field for the home opener on Wednesday, Sept. 18 as they host Post University at 4 p.m.