Pugliese Boots Women's Soccer By Salve Regina 3-2 In OT
BOSTON, Mass.—With five-and-a-half minutes to play in the first overtime period, sophomore Amanda Pugliese (Pembroke, Mass.) buried a free-kick just under the cross bar from 20 yards out to keep UMass Boston (14-1) perfect at home and send the Salve Regina University Seawhawks (7-7-1) home with a crushing loss at the Clark Athletic Field Monday.
Pugliese notched her fifth goal of the season with the free kick from just outside the box and her first collegiate game-winning goal, to help the Beacons finish their comeback.
With the win, UMass Boston tied their program-record for wins with 14, the same mark as the 2009, 2010 and 2011 squads. The win also marked UMass Boston's third comeback rally of the season, as the Beacons trailed in a game for just the fourth time all year.
Fellow sophomore Krista Ledin (Bridgewater, Mass.) continued her red-hot play with two goals to bring her total to 18 on the season. The reigning Little East Conference Offensive Player Of The Week extended her scoring streak to three games and has now scored in every home game she has played in this season.
Juniors Julie Nutting (Rockland, Mass.) and Tayla Andrews (Plymouth, Mass.) each picked up assists to tie Pugliese and Sam Cristoforo (Rockland, Mass.) for the Little East Conference league lead with seven assists piece.
Senior Anna O'Donoghue (Swansea, Mass.) picked up her second assist of the season and played her best game of the season. The senior continuously pushed the ball up field and sent three perfect passes into the box for the Beacons forwards.
Kristen Spain (Quincy, Mass.) allowed two goals but was spectacular in net for UMass Boston. The sophomore keeper made five saves including a highlight reel kick save late in the second half to rob Erin McCullough and keep the score even at two.
McCullough recorded the Seahawks lone assist on the day, as senior Kaitlyn Birrell picked up her team-high 17th and 18th goals of the year.
The Beacons jumped out to an early lead in the 27th minute. Nutting sent the ball up on the right-side of the box to Ledin, who made a play out of nothing. The sophomore forward took a touch just feet away from the end line and just as the ball was about to go out of bounds, the sophomore forward ripped a right-footed shot just inside the far post, beating Salve Regina goalie Jacqueline McPherson.
Birrell was not to be out done, as she tied the score less than 10 minutes later. At the 36:50 mark, Birrell received a pass from McCullough and one-timed a shot from the top of the box that blew by Spain.
Salve Regina used a late flurry of action towards the end of the half to grab control of the play and even up the stat totals, as the two teams went into the half tied with 10 shots, 4 shots on goal and three saves.
The Seahawks would carry over their momentum into the second half, as they struck almost seven minutes into the second stanza. Birrell picked up a Beacons turnover and dribbled through two defenders, before burying the ball into the back of the net.
UMass Boston would pick up their game and after several near misses, found the equalizer at the 63:44 mark. O'Donoghue sent a cross into the box from the far side that skipped off the head of Andrews and right onto the right foot of Ledin. From six yards out, Ledin blasted the shot right over the head of McPherson.
In the 80th minute, McCullough broke away from the Beacons defense on the right-side of the box and drilled a shot at a charging Spain. Spain sent the ball flying back towards McCullough to break up the Seahawks best chance late in the game.
Ledin would get another chance with just under 45 seconds to play, but sent the ball just over the crossbar from the right side of the box.
In just their third overtime game of the season, UMass Boston took control from the get go. The Beacons attempted all three shots in the period and dominated the ball possession. Just over four minutes into the session, Andrews was taken down just shy of the box to set up Pugliese.
The sophomore and Andrews stood over the ball, before Pugliese smashed the game-winner off of the underside of the crossbar.
UMass Boston will have four days off, before traveling to Danvers, Connecticut to take on the Western Connecticut State University Colonials.