Huskies barely survive double overtime thriller
After a scoreless 111 minutes of play, Connecticut sophomore Jessica Gjertsen scored the lone goal of the game to lead the ninth-ranked Huskies to a 1-0 double-overtime win over Dartmouth at Chase Field yesterday afternoon.
Play was all over the field, with neither Dartmouth nor UConn controlling the ball for too long. Both the Big Green and the Huskies had several amazing shots on goal, but the game was kept scoreless by the efforts of the netminders.
"Both our team and the UConn squad had similar styles of play," midfielder Anne Peick '04 said, "which was reflected in the game itself " both teams' main goal was possession and good passing rather than kick and run."
Rookie Anne Marbarger '05 split time in the Dartmouth net with Julia Shields '04. The pair held a dangerous UConn attack at bay until Gjertsen punched through her game-winner.
Marbarger played after halftime and finished with eight saves. She made a particularly spectacular stop when she popped what looked like a sure shot from senior Mary Beth Bowie over the net with six minutes left in the first overtime. Bowie scored the game-winning goal against Harvard last week in overtime.
As time ticked down, it seemed that this game would be a repeat of the frustrating scoreless tie with Yale earlier this season.
However, the Huskies managed to score the lone goal with just 8:02 left in the second extra session. Junior Naima Montacer chopped the ball forward to Gjertsen, who was able to get the shot off from left side into the right-hand corner of the net. The goal was Gjertsen's seventh of the season.
"We played an extremely strong game and proved that on any given day, the result could have been different," Peick said. "This was not a nationally ranked team pounding an unranked team that just had a good game. This was what should be two nationally ranked teams playing good soccer, and one of the teams getting lucky."
Connecticut outshot Dartmouth, 19-10.
The Huskies improved their overall mark to 14-4-0 with its sixth straight win, a stretch in which they've allowed only one goal. It was also UConn's second consecutive overtime win.
The loss drops the Big Green to 7-4-1 (3-1-1 Ivy) and snaps its four-game winning streak, including a 1-0 victory this weekend against rival Harvard. That win was a crucial one for the Ivy standings, as Dartmouth moved into third, behind Princeton (5-0-0) and Penn (4-1-0).
The Huskies have owned the series with Dartmouth, with 12 wins in 13 tries. UConn is now 5-0 in Hanover. The Huskies and Big Green have also met three times in the postseason, with UConn taking all three games.
Dartmouth is hoping to get another shot at the Huskies at this year's edition of the College Cup.
"We hope to play UConn again in the NCAA Tournament, and we are confident that the result will be different," Peick said.
Dartmouth's only losses this season have come when the Big Green has failed to score a goal. Scoring with consistency has been troublesome at times this season, despite excellent offensive opportunities.
The Big Green will wrap up the regular season with two Ivy League games against Cornell and Brown. The Cornell game is next Sunday at 11 a.m.