UML’s Emily Nelson ties game in 76th minute, Minutewomen leave with 2OT draw

UMass moves to 1-1-1

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UML’s Emily Nelson ties game in 76th minute, Minutewomen leave with 2OT draw

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Staff

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In the first ever matchup between UMass and UMass Lowell women’s soccer programs, neither campus would ultimately prevail, as the game ended in a 2-2 draw after 110 minutes of play.

The River Hawks (0-2-1) opened up the scoring with a goal off the foot of Veronica Morrier in the fifth minute of play. 26 minutes later, the Minutewomen (1-1-1) answered back, with Serena Ahmed feeding Lauren Bonavita for UMass’ first tally of the day. Not long after, they would strike again, this time with the help of midfielder Olivia Gouldsbury, who got an excellent scoring opportunity off a corner kick by Rebeca Frisk.

It was Lowell’s Emily Nelson, however, with her piece-of-cake goal in the second half that would tie the game up at two and keep it that way through the remainder of play.

“With that goal, we got in a situation where we had enough players back behind the ball but not really aware of what was going on around them,” coach Jason Dowiak said. “Then, the two [UML] players — as wide open as can be on the back post — [scored easily].”

Nelson’s goal in the 76th minute left the proverbial door open just under 15 minutes for either team to finish the game in regulation. Neither converted, sending the game into two overtime periods—where, again, neither team could convert on a goal.

“I’m proud of our girls for fighting through the end of regulation and through overtime too,” Dowiak said.

In the final two minutes of regulation, the Minutewomen would get called for three consecutive offside penalties, two of which were converted for goals before being waved off. The other was a controversial call involving a collision between UMass striker Melissa Kössler and UML goalie Lauren Huff.

“I thought one of [the offside calls], where Kössler got tackled by the keeper to the shin, was a perfectly timed run,” said Dowiak. “They called her offside.”

UMass also had two really solid scoring opportunities in the second overtime. The first was a Sini Laaksonen shot that wound up hitting the crossbar, then deflecting into Huff’s hands. The second, coming shortly after, was an Ansley Frazier break-away that saw a low dribbler go wide right of the goal post, nearly setting up Jenny Hipp on the backdoor pass.

Now finished with their three-game road stretch to open up the season, the Minutewomen will return to Rudd Field on Sunday for a single game against currently undefeated Pittsburgh before hitting the road again for two more away games.

“It’ll be nice to be on Fort Rudd again,” said Dowiak. “It always nice to be home … and against another ACC opponent is really exciting. We’re getting some really high caliber competition on our schedule.”

Pittsburgh is UMass’ second and final ACC opponent of the non-conference schedule after the Minutewomen dropped their season opener 2-1 against Boston College on the road. While Pitt is part of the powerhouse conference, the Panthers went 0-10 in conference play last year and were not able to collect a single road victory.

Game is set to start at 1 p.m. on Sunday from Rudd Field.

Ryan Beaton can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ry_beaton.