BY MATT EVANS // SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 //
The Colonels battled inconsistent refereeing en route to a 1-1 double overtime draw with conference opponent Nichols College on Saturday night. Colonels goalkeeper Hayley Rice saved the game after a questionable penalty in the 108th minute to keep the draw intact.
The opening goal in the match came off of a superb cross from forward Tayla Randall to forward Karinna Tsonis who tapped it in during the 12th minute. Afterwards Tsonis called the goal a “gift” and singled out the freshman Randall for setting up the score.
“Our freshman Tayla Randall, she did a lot of the work. She got the ball over to me so I give her a lot more credit than I think I deserve,” said Tsonis.
The lead lasted up until the 59th minute when Bison forward Taylor Souza struck from about ten yards out. Midfielder Lauren Macgray set up the goal with a brilliant through-pass that found a streaking Souza all alone on the right side of the box for an easy score.
The remainder of regulation featured the Colonels staying afloat amid multiple controversial calls. Three straight corners were awarded to the Bison around the 85th minute, only two of which were warranted. The third clearly went off a Nichols forward who was all alone on the left side of the box but the referee elected to award a corner instead of a goal kick.
Tsonis later confirmed that she felt the referee was inconsistent throughout the night.
“Yeah, he had a bit of a tough time out there tonight… Every ref misses a couple but I’d say he missed a good chunk today,” Tsonis said.
Going all the way into double overtime the Colonels had to outlast one more questionable decision in the 108th minute as Nichols was awarded a penalty after defender Abigail Ford made contact with Bison forward Danielle Barry inside the box. It is worth noting that contact took place after Barry’s shot and Ford didn’t appear to impede the attacker in any way.
The penalty would’ve won the game for Nichols but Colonels keeper Haley Rice came up with a huge stop. Souza lined up to take the shot for the Bison, but Rice denied her with a sprawling save to the left side near the post. It was easily the most exciting moment in a game otherwise dulled by lackluster decisions from the officiating team.
Rice talked about the game saving stop afterwards.
“I was just angry at the ref. I just channeled all the anger into the penalty kick,” said Rice.
The draw puts the Colonels at 5-2-2 with both of their ties coming within the division. Their next game comes on Monday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. when the Colonels travel to Connecticut to take on the University of Saint Joseph.