The UConn women’s soccer team is well-accustomed to overtime. For the fourth straight game, the Huskies went into extra time, drawing 1-1 with Colorado College to close out nonconference play.
The Huskies (2-4-3) applied pressure early and often. Less than two minutes in, Junior Vivien Beil narrowly missed a goal, ripping a strike from 25 yards out that hit the crossbar. It was one of UConn’s five shots in in the first five minutes, with nothing to show for it, that would set the tone for the rest of game.
“We’re just naïve about going to get the ball, we can’t wait for the ball to come to us,” said head coach Len Tsantiris after the game. “We’ve got to hunt.”
Despite the Huskies’ early dominance, it was Colorado College (3-3-2) who opened the scoring. In the 18th minute, Tigers’ star Lauren Milliet found Johanna Hemblett along the right side of the box. UConn goalie Mollie Kerrigan, who has struggled with her decision-making as of late, charged aggressively and Hemblett slotted the ball past her for a goal.
The goal not only put the Tigers ahead, but it drastically shifted momentum. After recording eight shots in the first 15 minutes, the Huskies did not record another shot until only eight minutes left in the half—and it found the back of the net.
Beil, who was UConn’s catalyst all game, scored her second goal of the season to equalize the game at 1-1. Fellow junior and Germany resident Kim Urbanek drew two defenders just outside the box and found Beil open to her left, who took one dribble into the center of the box and delivered a shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The 1-1 tie would hold at the half, but the numbers and momentum were firmly in UConn’s favor. They outshot the Tigers 10-3, and had six corner kicks compared to Colorado’s zero in the first half.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were relatively uneventful, with each team taking two shots, none of which tested the goalies. Then, the tide shifted firmly in UConn’s favor.
In the 67th minute, UConn’s Yamilee Eveillard ripped a shot from outside the box that narrowly sailed over the crossbar. Five minutes later, the Huskies’ top scorer Kess Elmore got out on a breakaway, with only the goalie to beat, but put the ball over the net.
With ten minutes remaining in regulation, UConn earned a free kick from only a couple yards out from the box. Beil took the kick, putting a shot on goal, but was stopped by a diving save from Tigers goalie Jade Odom.
The rest of the half was marked by chippiness, and more UConn missed opportunities. Colorado’s Clara Richter was awarded a yellow card after a tackle and little skirmish with UConn’s Kristen Vinciguerra. The Huskies added to their shot total, including an Elmore header as time expired, but not to their goal total.
So with the game knotted at one goal apiece, the Huskies headed to overtime for the fourth straight game.
With a minute left in the first overtime, UConn once again earned a free kick from just outside the Tigers’ box, and once again Beil took the shot. This time, however, she didn’t test Odom, with the ball sailing far over the Colorado College goal.
After a scoreless ten minutes, the Tigers seemed content to preserve the draw in the second overtime. They dropped eight players back, allowing the Huskies to dominate possession but preventing any real scoring opportunities. The strategy worked. In fact, the closest opportunity of the period came for the Tigers on a breakaway, but the shot went just wide of the post.
Minutes later, the clock hit triple zeroes for the last time, with the Huskies coming away with a 1-1 draw despite out-shooting the Tigers by a 23-11 margin. After the game, the players echoed the same sentiment as their coach: they need to be more aggressive.
“We’re just very frantic in front of the goal,” said Beil after the draw. “The last pass is usually a couple feet off. We’re always waiting for the perfect ball, the perfect pass. We just need to play a little dirtier.”
After four straight overtime games, UConn will get plenty of time for some much-needed rest, as they do not play again until September 28, in the conference opener against Cincinnati. But the players recognize there’s work to be done in the meantime.