Worcester, Mass. – Simone McGuinness (Chevy Chase, Md.) found the perfect time for her first collegiate goal. The junior converted a penalty kick with 5:15 left in the first overtime to give Clark University a thrilling 2-1 win over Nichols College on Thursday evening.
Score: Clark 2, Nichols College 1 (OT).
Records: Clark 1-0; Nichols College 0-1
Location: Granger Soccer Turf, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The Cougars jumped on the Bison early as Haley Connors (Burrillville, R.I.) took a pass from Rylee Simons (Weston, Fla.) and lofted a high floating shot from 25 yards out that found the back of the net barely two minutes into the season and the Scarlet and White were off and running.
McGuinness, who has played in 36 games in her career, and only had 13 shots heading into tonight's matchup, not only collected her first collegiate goal in the win but helped a defense that limited the Bison to just three shots in more than 90 minutes of action.
Clark looked poised to take a regulation win but Taylor Souza (New Bedford, Mass.) found the back of the net in the 67th minute to even the score with her first collegiate strike.
It's been four seasons since someone other than Gabby Paolini won a game in net for the Cougars. Freshman Julianna Christy (Plainville, Conn.) only needed to make one save to secure her first collegiate win, but it was more than just the save for Christy. She commanded the backline, communicated effectively and was excellent on defending the corner kicks.
"In that moment all I knew was that it was my duty to win for my team, said McGuinness. "Whatever it was going to take, I wanted it to be me to get it done."
What Else Happened?:
Clark looked to double its lead early in the first half when Kara Fischer (Belmont, Mass.) got by Nichols netminder Brooke Downey (Middleboro, Mass.), but her shot was turned aside by defender Brittany Busco (Agawam, Mass.).
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. Nichols plays host to Albertus Magnus, while Clark visits Framingham State. Both games are slated for an 11:00 AM kickoff.