ONEONTA, N.Y. – In its previous appearance in the Mayor's Cup 14 years ago, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team was shut out in a pair of 1-0 losses. Saturday, the Warriors may be been blanked for a third time in as many tournament matches, but came away with a scoreless double-overtime tie against highly-regarded SUNY Oneonta at Elmore Field on the Hartwick College campus.
Oneonta (0-2-1), a 13-time SUNYAC champion in the last 20 years, went on to win the NCAA Division III national title after edging Eastern in the season-opener in 2003, and is only two years removed from advancing to the NCAA Division III Round of 16 in 2015.
Playing without two starters Saturday, Eastern (1-1-2) extended its streak without a goal to 219 minutes over three matches, but got combined shutout goaltending from junior Kayla Labrecque (Westhampton, MA) and sophomore Erin Collins (Millis, MA). In her career debut, Collins took over at halftime and submitted a five-save effort over 65 minutes as the Eastern defense recorded its first shutout of the season and lowered its season goals-against average to 0.66.
Eastern was limited to eight shots by Oneonta – senior All-America Maggie Bodington (Stratford) putting two of her four on net -- with senior keeper Melissa Muller being called upon to make four saves. Each club managed two overtime shots, with Collins and Muller each coming up with a save to preserve the scoreless tie.
In the first overtime, each team had a shot and corner kick, with Muller saving a bid by Eastern junior Hannah Goodale (Coventry) and Oneonta senior Amanda Roney sending hers over the crossbar. Bodington's second overtime attempt sailed wide, and with four minutes left in sudden death, Collins stopped Roney's attempt to keep the game scoreless. Neither of the three overtime corner kicks produced a shot.
Eastern faces Hartwick College Sunday at 2:30 at Red Dragon field on the SUNY Oneonta campus. In a battle of unbeatens Saturday, Susquehanna University (3-0-1) edged Hartwick (3-1-0) in double overtime on a goal by Julia Hutsko with just under three minutes left in sudden death.