Purchase, NY---The Sage's women's soccer team travelled to Purchase College on Thursday night for their 2011 Skyline Conference and regular-season finale. Sage's senior forward Rebecca Marszalek (Adams, MA/Hoosac Valley) spoiled the ending in what had all the makings of a dramatic come-from-behind win for Purchase Thursday night.
Marszalek scored all three of the Gators' goals on Thursday after suffering through a scoring drought and becomes Sage's all-time career point leader in the process. With her six points on the evening, she surpassed the record held by Kelley Richer (48 goals, 15 assists, 111 points, 1991-1994) as she now has 52 career goals with 11 assists and 115 points.
The Gator senior forward scored two early goals and saved her
best for last, providing the game-winning score in double OT with
2:31 to go. Purchase goalkeeper Kristen Racaniello
(SO/Riverhead, NY) was overextended on the play, coming
out to block a potential shot and GW score, when freshman
Millett (Ravena, NY/ Ravena Coeymans-Selkirk) tipped a
pass to Marszalek, which she fired into the net for a swift,
heartbreaking 3-2 win.
A pair of first-half goals by the Sage forward looked like it would be enough early on, but host Purchase battled back and forced overtime as rookie midfielder Cristie Hipsman (FR/Chester, NY) ruined a potential Gator victory in regulation. In the 69th minute, Hipsman fired a shot that bounced over the goalkeeper's head, equalizing the score at 2-2 – the same score it would remain for the rest of regulation and later nearly two hard-fought overtime periods.
Although the Panthers (6-6, 3-4 Skyline Conference) would cut the deficit to one goal midway through the first, and even produce a few golden opportunities around the net later, it took Purchase some time to even the score following a pair of early strikes. The primary culprit for the Gators was Marszalek, who scored both opening period goals for the visitors, first handing Sage a 1-0 lead and shortly later a commanding 2-0 cushion.
Co-captain and Skyline Conference Player of the Week Ashley Panepinto (SR/North Rockland, NY) continued her impressive scoring streak for Purchase. Panepinto made it 2-1, netting her ninth goal of the season off a well-placed cross from standout rookie Cat Viscardi (FR/Lake Ronkonkoma, NY). Panepinto, who has scored in three straight, peppered the goal several times, but despite her best efforts could not net the equalizer until opting to assist on Hipsman's game-tying score in the second half.
Panepinto nearly served up the game-winning goal with 12:05 remaining in regulation. However, Sage netminder senior Brittany McDonald (Schenectady, NY/Schalmont) came out and squashed the shot. Down the stretch, Viscardi powered a few shots of her own on goal, none of which found the back of the net. McDonald finished with 12 saves in the contest and moves ever closer to becoming Sage's career saves leader as she now has 330, just eight off the mark set in 1997 by Bernadette Stephanowski (1994-1997, 338).
Sage, which improved to 6-7 and 4-4 in the league, was actually outshot 27-17 for the contest. But it was the three shots on this night by Marszalek that proved to be the difference in a tight game.