MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior forward Greer Gilbert (Falmouth, Mass.) scored 2:20 into sudden death overtime to give the Simmons College women's soccer team a 3-2 victory over host Eastern Connecticut State University this evening at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex in Mansfield, Conn. The Sharks snap a three-match losing skid to improve to 1-3-0 on the season, while handing Eastern (2-1-1) its first loss and defeating the Warriors after being shut out in the first two meetings in the series.
After the Warriors failed to convert on five prime opportunities in the last 13 minutes of regulation – including a header from the left post with 25 seconds left – the Sharks struck quickly in overtime. With just over two minutes gone in overtime, Gilbert capitalized on an Eastern turnover in the box to the right of the right post, and slid the winning goal inside the far post.
Sophomore forward Kashka Gammon (Nashua, N.H.) scored on a rebound to tie the game 28 minutes into the second half to give Simmons the second of three unanswered goals to close out the contest.
With 13 minutes left in regulation, Simmons senior keeper Briana Hayes (Manorville, N.Y.) got her hand on a header heading under the cross bar, tipping it off the bar. With eight minutes left, the Warriors had an open look off a corner kick, but the bid carried wide. Minutes later, an Eastern player took a cross from the right side but one-timed the ball over the cross bar; and with a minute left, Eastern ripped a shot in the box wide of the post.
In addition to striking early in overtime, Simmons found the net 2:28 into the match, when first year forward Mikayla Elliott (Lowell, Mass.) buried the first goal of the match inside the right post from close range after Gammon and Gilbert played give-and-go in front of the Simmons bench.
The Warriors tied the match on junior midfielder Hailey Lehning's (Woodbury, Conn.) goal ten minutes later on Eastern's first shot on a pass from junior midfielder Haley Stewart (Windham, Conn.), and senior midfielder Maggie Sayers (Windsor Locks, Conn.) pushed the hosts into a 2-1 lead with 18 minutes left in the half when she scored inside the left post from ten yards on sophomore forward Emily Becher's (Brooklyn, Conn.) cross from the right wing.
That lead stood up until Gammon scored on the rebound of Gilbert's shot in the 73rd minute for the Sharks.
Hayes made two stops for Simmons for her first win of the year, while senior keeper Rachel Skelton (East Lyme, Conn.) made six saves for the Warriors.
The Sharks will be in action again on Saturday, September 12 when they host Saint Joseph's College (Maine) at 11:30 a.m. to open the Great Northeast Athletic Conference slate. Eastern Connecticut State heads to Westfield, Mass. to take on Westfield State University on the same day at 7:00 p.m.