Sports

Women’s soccer edged 1-0 in fifth overtime contest of the season

Etzel ’19 posts season-high seven saves in 1-0 overtime loss to first-place Columbia

By
Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, October 1, 2017

Though the Bears brought an impressive five-game winning streak into their game with Columbia, Bruno was on the wrong side of a late overtime goal for only the second time this year, bringing the team’s OT record to 3-2.

Following a victory over Dartmouth last weekend to open conference play, the women’s soccer team had its five-game winning streak snapped, falling  to Columbia 1-0 in overtime Saturday.

Columbia’s Natalie Neshat scored the evening’s lone goal in the 97th minute, tapping a first-touch shot in the back of the net from the left side of the box.

A strong defensive showing allowed the Bears (8-3-0, 1-1 Ivy) to fend off a persistent Lions (6-4-1, 2-0) offense in regulation. Veteran goalkeeper Christine Etzel ’19 made a season-high seven saves in a busy night as Bruno was outshot 18-8 overall and 8-4 in shots on goal.

“Our defensive unit was very solid — we handled them well,” Etzel said. “We needed to push the game offensively a bit more and put away some of our chances.”

“Defensively, we’re getting better every game, taking our roles a little bit more seriously and being more aggressive,” said Head Coach Kia McNeill. “The most disappointing part is that I didn’t feel like we threw our full arsenal at them — I didn’t think we had much of an attack.”

Offensively, the Bears struggled to capitalize early and establish themselves with enough conviction in the final third to generate goals.

“As the game wore on, we didn’t get enough connection from our backs to our forwards, and that was ugly,” McNeill said. “It forced us to play a more defensive game than I would have liked. Columbia did a good job of trying to disrupt our rhythm as a team and really disrupt our attacking presence.”

Mikela Waldman ’18 led Bruno with two shots on goal in the loss.

As the stakes of conference play rise with five games remaining, the Bears remain confident and focused on securing an Ivy crown.

“We know every Ivy League game is just like a championship because we only play each team once,” Etzel said. “The mentality we have going into every game is … really pushing the game, doing our best to try and get the result we really want.”

“The pressure builds with every game, but our team is confident in ourselves and in our ability,” McNeill said. “We just have to play to our potential and we know that.”

McNeill emphasized the importance of effective practice in preparation for this weekend’s clash against a Princeton team that sits tied with Columbia in first place.

“We need to have a really focused week of training and really execute a couple things that will make us dangerous,” McNeill said. “We know what’s on the line, and our team will rise to the occasion.”

The Bears will host Princeton at Stevenson-Pincince Field Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.