EMMA KNIGHT / THE EAGLE
Trailing Colgate late, the AU women’s soccer team fought back to earn a 2-2 draw Oct. 27 at Reeves Field.
Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Eagles received a boost from a pair of seniors competing in their final match at Reeves Field.
Michelle Montilio sent a pass to Carleigh Morba, who split two Colgate defenders and scored a breakaway goal in the 71st minute to slice the AU deficit in half.
“Michelle and I kind of connected on the goal that I scored,” Morba said. “We were just trying to get in behind the back line, and I tried to keep my composure in front of the goal. It was nice to get my first goal of the season.”
After showing little signs of life for the majority of the game, the goal rejuvenated the Eagles (6-9-3, 4-2-1 PL) and gave them the momentum they had been looking for.
“Once we got the first goal, we know we can get a second goal,” Montilio said. “We have a good offense, [and] that helped us out.”
The second AU goal came 12 minutes after the first, when Sam Trotta’s strike hit the post, but teammate Lindsay Muri was there to knock in the rebound.
“Coming back from down two goals was great, and it shows that we can come back and tie and win games that way,” AU head coach Dave Bucciero said.
Neither team could score the go-ahead goal over the final seven minutes of regulation, or in either of the two 10-minute overtime periods.
With Navy defeating Bucknell to clinch the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament, second-seeded Colgate (9-5-4, 4-1-2 PL) and third-seeded AU will meet Nov. 2 in the PL Semifinals.
“Obviously, Colgate is a prolific offense,” Bucciero said. “They’ve scored a lot of goals this year — they scored two goals today — so we’re going to have to be sharp. They’re a very talented group and we’re going to have to play really well to beat them, but we’re certainly capable of doing it and that’s what’s great.”
The Eagles came into the Colgate match on the heels of a rough 4-0 loss at Army, and looked to get back on track against the Raiders.
“It was really difficult for us to get back from Army,” Morba said. “It was a tough game all around, and we discussed it during practice and we tried to put it behind us.”
After Kelsey Hough’s 19th-minute goal and Jillian Kinter’s 54th-minute score put Colgate in front 2-0, it looked like the Army match was unfolding all over again.
But this time the Eagles battled back, and will now try and defeat Colgate to secure a spot in the Patriot League Championship.
“We can’t just be happy being in the tournament,” Bucciero said. “You don’t know when you’re going to be back in the tournament again, so our goal is to win the Patriot League Tournament and that’s the first thing that we have to realize.”