BY BRANDON WILFORE // NOV. 2, 2016 //
After a thrilling upset in the first round, the women’s soccer team returned home to host a Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinal game for the first time in over a decade.
No. 8 Gordon College, fresh off their upset of top-seeded Roger Williams University, came to the fifth-ranked Colonels who just handed No. 4 University of New England the boot, Saturday.
The Fighting Scots looked to continue to send a message from the bottom of the bracket and were able to do just that by outshooting Curry 14-2 over the duration of the game.
The first half was dominated by Gordon. They controlled the ball for what felt like the whole first half, ripping shots on goal and getting corner-kick opportunities, tiring the depleted Colonels’ defense that was dealing with injuries.
But Curry was saved in the opening half by senior goalie Morgan Stott, who continued her amazing season making saves left and right while barking orders to her defense. Stott was honored with a spot as the All-Conference’s Third Team goalkeeper.
The horn blew and it was deadlocked at zero at the half, even though Gordon held the advantage in seemingly every aspect of the game.
The intermission ended and if you didn’t know, you would have thought you were watching a recording of the first half. The Fighting Scots continued to dominate the time of possession, even though they were the eighth seed.
The Colonels’ lone chance came when they brought the ball down the side and crossed it to the middle, and found its way through a few Gordon defenders, and the goalie. The improbable postseason run by Curry may just be continued on a crazy goal…But as the ball came within inches of the goal line, a Scot defender ran over and booted the ball into the Gordon half.
The teams traded corner kicks and traded possessions, all with little offensive threat. Regulation ended, still tied at nothing. Overtime.
The first 10-minute overtime may have been the most lackluster period of the game, with the teams combining for only one shot. Both teams were greatly fatigued and running on fumes of playoff adrenaline.
The second overtime came and there was a sense of urgency for both teams, knowing that one goal would end the game and send them to the Championship. A game Curry hasn’t tasted since 1991 when they beat Salve Regina for the conference title.
Only 1:14 into the period, Gordon was on the attack. Sophomore Tori Caswell fired a shot that looked like it was going well wide, only for it to take a bounce, hit the post, and hit the back of the net, sending Fighting Scots onto the field to celebrate, while Colonels stood like statues, wondering what had just happened. Fans standing on the fence mirrored them, speechless.
Their bid for the CCC Championship will have to wait until next year without seniors Kelly Parker, Kaitlyn Lima and Briana Fitzsimmons.
However, there is still a shot for the Colonels in the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament, a secondary postseason tournament for any of the 120 Division III member schools who choose to register. Those seedings will be revealed after this weekend’s CCC Championship game between Gordon College and the Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Offensive struggle: All season Curry struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. Out of 21 games, Curry scored more than 2 goals only 6 times.
You will be missed: The Colonels tallied 37 goals this season, 22 of them came from Parker, Lima, and Fitzsimmons, all of whom will be graduating in the spring.
Youth movement: Curry still had plenty of freshmen contribute, with Megan Ladner winning rookie of the week this past week, as well as Allison Cady and Elizabeth Lynch, both of whom started in over half of the games this year.