BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr soccer team finally got in their 2019 home opener earlier Wednesday afternoon, but unfortunately, the Owls couldn't quite get the result they wanted. Despite controlling long stretches of the game, including most of the second half, Bryn Mawr was unable to find the back of the net. That came back to cost the Owls in overtime, as Washington College found a winner on a free kick with seven seconds left in the first OT period to claim a 1-0 win on the day. Grecia Prieto had a superb day in goal for the Owls, making four saves and coming off of her line to erase several other dangerous chances.
The Shorewomen had the first opportunity of the game on a corner kick six minutes into the contest, but Bryn Mawr got the first shot of the game. Kass Wojcik let loose with that effort, but Washington's Noah Smith made the save. Over the middle part of the opening half, the Shorewomen seemed to have more possession, resulting in the first two shots of the day for the visitors. However, Prieto was positioned perfectly to save both of those attempts, and the game continued to remain scoreless. Hannah Oxendine would get the next chance for Bryn Mawr in the offensive end, but her first shot of the day went wide. Perhaps the best opportunity of the half came in the 38th minute, as the Shorewomen worked the ball down the right side into the offensive zone. They were able to get a ball into the box from the right, and it made its way onto the foot of Keelie Verbeek at the penalty spot. She blasted a shot past Prieto, but it rocketed off the crossbar and back into play. A Shorewomen foul ended the chance, and the teams ended up deadlocked at 0-0 headed into halftime.
In the second half, the Owls had all the momentum right from the start. Elizabeth Kiely and Hannah Oxendine had shots go wide, and Paige Mastripolito saw her effort blocked, and that was all inside the first ten minutes of action in the half. Later, Kiely had another shot blocked herself. Bryn Mawr's first shot on goal in the half came in the 61st minute. A long clearance from their defensive zone ended up getting the ball onto the foot of Wojcik down the left side. She did a great job to get space on her defender, then cut back at the top of the box and fired in a curling shot on goal. However, it bounced right into the midsection of Smith, shutting down the attack.
As the half wore on, Washington College started to work their way into the game a bit more, sending off a few shots of their own. However, Prieto continued to stand strong in goal, saving every shot that came her way. That allowed the Owls to continue trying to build an attack and look for the go-ahead goal. They would get arguably their best shot of the day in the 65th minute on a great combination play through the midfield. Working the ball out of their end, the Owls made some nice passes to get possession onto the foot of Sarah Coufal driving down the right side. Emily Elmore made a fantastic run up the middle off of Coufal's left shoulder, and Coufal timed her through pass perfectly to find Elmore slicing into the right side of the box alone. Racing to catch up and take a touch, Elmore took the ball deep towards the endline, and then sent a shot towards the far post. The ball sliced past the outreached arms of Smith and seemed headed inside the far netting, but it curled just wide of the post and harmlessly across the goalline for a goal kick. Bryn Mawr's final chance of the half came in the 77th minute, as Paige Mastripolito broke free down the right side. With a defender closing in on her, she had to rip an early shot at the top of the box, and it once again went straight into Smith's arms.
With neither side able to find a goal in regulation, the teams headed into the first sudden-victory overtime period. Unfortunately for the Owls, Washington College had the only chances of the extra frame. The Shorewomen got a shot off in the 95th minute, but Prieto stood tall and made another strong save on that effort. Then, just a couple minutes later, the visitors played a dangerous ball through the box that Prieto had to pounce on once again. It seemed as if the game was headed to a second extra frame, but unfortunately, a late foul changed the course of the game. One final ball from deep in Washington's own zone made its way all the way to the top of the Bryn Mawr penalty area, where an Owls defender pulled back an attacker looking to get a shot off. With just seconds left on the clock, the Owls tried to help bleed the rest of the period away by lining up their wall too close to the ensuing free kick. However, Washington College's Bess Mascone, seeing the clock running down, quickly stepped up to take the kick anyway, and she struck perhaps one of the best shots of her career in that moment. The the left-footed attempt sailed up over top of the Owls stacked in front of her, then curled to the right, past the dive of Prieto and into the back of the net with just seven seconds left on the clock.
That golden goal handed Washington College the important Centennial Conference win, and left Bryn Mawr still in search of their first league victory this year. The Owls put on a brilliant performance, however, and certainly will look to get back in the win column when they return to action on Saturday for their Homecoming matchup against Wesley. That game is slated for 3:30 PM on Applebee Field.