HOLYOKE, Mass. ---- Natalie Galindo buried a penalty kick in the 88th minute for the lone goal of the match as the Holyoke CC held off the Massasoit CC women's soccer team, 1-0, in Region XXI action on Saturday.
With just two minutes remaining in regulation and the game deadlocked in a scoreless tie, the Warriors were whistled for an apparent inadvertent handball. A Massasoit defender headed a ball out of the box to avoid a late goal by the Cougars. But on the play, an official whistled the Warriors for a handball foul, resulting in a PK for what proved to the game winner.
"It was a tough call and a very difficult way to end a game," head coach Jim Stapleton said. "You never want to see a game with two evenly matched teams be decided on a call like that. But, I thought our girls played hard right to the end, especially in the second half. We had a couple of chances to score, but were unable to finish. Hopefully we will get a third crack at Holyoke in the regional tournament."
In the second half is when Massasoit had its best opportunities to score. Gina Nutting (Rockland), Silvia Sosa (New Milford, N.J.) and Shelby Sprague all had cracks at the net, but were unable to finish.
Massasoit (6-2-1) finished with seven team shots, three coming on goal.
Goalie Laura Ellis (Raynham/Bristol Plymouth Voc.) made eight saves in the loss.
The Warriors return to the pitch on Monday, hosting Springfield Tech at 3:30 p.m.