Women’s Soccer Battles Back To Tie No. 10 Holyoke, 2-2

Women’s Soccer Battles Back To Tie No. 10 Holyoke, 2-2

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BROCKTON, Mass. ---- The Massasoit women's soccer team fell behind 2-0 in the first half, but battled back to tie No. 10 Holyoke CC, 2-2, on Saturday afternoon at Warrior Field.

The draw brings Massasoit's record to 2-0-1 on the season, while the nationally ranked Cougars now sit at 4-1-3. The tie for Massasoit with HCC snaps the Cougars 16-match win streak over the Warriors, dating back to a 1-1 tie between the schools six years to the day (Sept. 9, 2009).

The Massasoit defense was a key unit in the tie, as keeper Laura Ellis (Raynham/Bristol-Plymouth Voc) made 17 saves in net for the Warriors. HCC finished with 27 shots, 19 on net for the game, while Massasoit rifled off 16 shots, six on goal.

"We battled back today," head coach Jim Stapleton said. "It was a good comeback and a good game. I think the fact that it was Holyoke's eighth game and just our third and for some of our girls their first or second game, made it tough in the beginning. As the game went along I think we played better. Holyoke is tough. Everyone played well. I think it would have been unfair for either team to win, so a draw was fair."

HCC would strike first in the 17th minute, when Olivia Neiswanger took a pass from Elizabeth Cavanaugh at midfield and finished for the goal to put the Cougars up 1-0.

The visiting Cougars would tack on their second goal just before halftime, when Alexandra Stuetzel corralled a cross in the box and connected to put HCC up 2-0.

The Warriors responded quickly after intermission. Sophomore Gina Nutting (Rockland/Rockland HS) fired a free kick in for her second goal of the season just four minutes into the second half.

Massasoit produced several more scoring opportunities in the second stanza, and finally broke through to tie the score. Shelby Sprague (Stoughton/Stoughton HS) took a through ball from fellow Stoughton native Courtney Wagner to knot the score up, 2-2, in the 77th minute, for her team-high eighth goal of the season.

In the two overtime periods, HCC had the best scoring chance, when a free kick nailed the cross bar, but Ellis corralled the shot and kept the tie game intact.

Next up for the Warriors is a home contest against Dean College on Tuesday at 4 p.m.