DANBURY, Conn. – There are good ties and bad ties. This was most defiinitely a good tie for the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team, which returned to the road following five straight home games and managed a 1-1 double-overtime Little East Conference draw with unbeaten and regionally-ranked Western Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon at The Westside Athletic Complex.
By extending its LEC regular-season unbeaten streak over four years to 22 (20-0-2), Eastern maintains a share of first place in the conference with Western (11-0-2, 3-0-1 LEC), ranked fifth in New England. Each team has ten points, one more than Keene State College.
The Colonials outshot the Warriors by a whopping 23-6 margin, while also holding a commanding edge in corner kicks, 8-0. Senior netminder Jillian Fernandez moved to 9-0-1 overall while stopping three shots for the Colonials. Fernandes leads the LEC in save percentage (.900), goals-against average (0.42), and shutouts.
Eastern junior goalkeeper Kayla Labrecque (Westhampton, MA) stopped a season-high 11 shots.
With the game scoreless, WestConn junior Lucy Daniels knocked a header off the crossbar after a corner kick feed from senior Andrea DeVoe midway through the first half. Moments later, Eastern junior Aly Clarke (Mystic) earned her team-leading eighth goal of the season, beating Fernandez to a loose ball in the box and firing a shot into the open side of the net to put the Warriors ahead 1-0 just before the break.
Clarke is ranked in a tie for second in the LEC in goals. Conference leader Autumn Sorice of Western – last year's LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year, had eight shots but Labrecque denied her on the four shots that were on goal.
The Colonials struck back early in the second half. Junior Aileen Maloney was pulled down from behind in the box. She then blasted her sixth goal of the year into the top-right corner on the ensuing penalty kick, knotting the score at 1-1.
WestConn had several opportunities to put the game away in the two extra sessions that followed. One shot bent around the Warriors wall and sailed high as time expired in the first overtime. The Colonials were fouled just outside the box numerous times in the second extra frame, but were unable to tally the game-winner.
The game marked the return to the starting lineup of All-Region midfielder McKenzie Reimondo (Portand), who had missed the last two matches with an injury.
Eastern hosts Trinity College Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a non-conference match.