ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Over the past two seasons, Bryn Mawr and Cedar Crest have played a couple of barnburners on the pitch. In 2018, a back-and-forth affair saw the Owls claim the game-winner with 1:36 left to play in the contest, as Bryn Mawr earned a 4-3 win over the Falcons. Earlier today, Bryn Mawr may have surpassed the drama of even that thrilling finish. After taking an early lead over the Falcons in Friday's game, the Owls saw their advantage turn into a 2-1 deficit by halftime. However, Bryn Mawr buckled down and found an equalizer from Sarah Coufal in the second half to send things into extra time. Then, with less than a minute left to go in double-overtime, Coufal again sparked some magic for the Owls, as she earned the assist on Paige Mastripolito's game-winner. Senior goalkeeper Carlie Hansen made several fantastic saves for the Owls late in the game as well, helping the team preserve a well-earned 3-2 (2OT) win on the day.
The afternoon got off to a great start, as first-year Hannah Oxendine found the back of the net just nine minutes into the game. The Owls had earned an early corner kick, and though they could not score off of that effort, they kept the pressure up in the offensive end, ultimately resulting in Oxendine's first career goal for Bryn Mawr.
Unfortunately for the Owls, that lead would not last the remainder of the half. Over the next half hour, Cedar Crest used goals from Daria Warner and Brittney Dunleavy to claim a 2-1 advantage by halftime.
The Owls came into the second half on the front foot, and they never let up. Bryn Mawr earned a corner kick early on in the half, but was unable to get a shot off on that effort. Later, Paige Mastripolito got a shot off for the Owls, but her effort was blocked by a Falcons defender. Over the next ten minutes, Elizabeth Kiely also got a shot off that was saved by Cedar Crest's keeper, and then Emily Elmore and Kass Wojcik each had shots blocked or go wide.
Then, with about 25 minutes left to go in the game, the Owls found their equalizer thanks to a great play from Sarah Coufal. The sophomore collected a ball on the right side and cut into the right half of the penalty area. Making a parallel run towards the penalty spot, Coufal found a gap and let loose a spectacular curling shot with the outside of her right foot. The Cedar Crest goalkeeper stayed flat-footed, knowing she had no chance at stopping the effort, which curled just inside the far post and sparked a celebration from the Owls in the penalty area.
With the game now tied 2-2, the Owls now looked for the go-ahead goal, and they got several good chances over the next few minutes. Coufal had another look just moments later, as some good ball reversal in the offensive end allowed her to get wide open on the back post for a header-chance. However, her effort from about six yards out went straight into the arms of the Falcons' goalkeeper. A few minutes later, an Owl earned a free kick dangerously close to the top left side of the penalty box. Emily Elmore was able to rip a hard shot on goal on that chance, but once again the ball was straight into the midsection of the Cedar Crest netminder. The game settled down for the most part over the remaining minutes of the half, until a frenetic final 60 seconds took place. That last minute saw both teams earn corner kicks, but neither side could get a shot on goal on those chances, and the game went into overtime.
The hosts had an amazing opportunity to find the game winner right out of the gate in the opening OT period. A Falcons player found herself alone at the penalty spot and got under a great aerial pass from a teammate above the penalty box. However, her volleyed effort went just high and wide of the cage. A free kick from the left side of the box just a minute later ended up being cleared by the Owls' defense. Then, with just under two minutes to go in the first period of extra time, Emily Elmore got Bryn Mawr's first good look. A loose ball bounced its way into the middle of the box, and Elmore was the first to get a foot to it. The senior volleyed a looping shot over the Falcons' keeper and towards the left side of the goal, but it sailed just wide of the top left corner for a goal kick for the hosts. That proved to be the final good chance of the first overtime for either team.
Cedar Crest once again had the better of the chances early in the second overtime, as the Falcons earned a corner kick just a minute into the period. This time, a Falcons player got a head on the ball and sent it angling inside the right post. The ball seemed destined for the back of the net, but Hansen made a spectacular reaction save, diving to her left and getting a hand on the ball to push it just past the post. The Falcons couldn't get anything on the ensuing corner kick, and Bryn Mawr earned a momentary reprieve. The Owls tried to work the ball forward and get a chance on goal, but their best opportunity over the next few minutes was a shot challenged by a Falcons defender that went harmlessly wide of the goal. With time winding down to the final minute and the two sides looking gassed, it appeared as if this game was destined to be a draw.
However, the Owls would not be denied on this day. With under a minute to play in the game, Bryn Mawr worked the ball down the field on the counterattack. Elizabeth Kiely did a great job possessing her way through the midfield, then made a perfectly weighted through pass, finding Sarah Coufal down the right wing. The sophomore flew past her defender and carried the ball into the right side of the box. Nearing the endline, she whipped a low, hard pass across the face of goal. Flying through the middle came Paige Mastripolito, and the first-year was the first onto the ball. She stuck out her foot and redirected the pass into the left side of the goal, sparking a bench-clearing celebration by the entire Owls squad.
With the win, Bryn Mawr moves to 2-1 on the year. It's the first time the Owls have been above .500 in a season since the 2016 campaign, when they won their first game of that season. The team will look to continue building off of this impressive start when they get right back in action on Sunday afternoon. The Owls will travel to Penn State Brandywine to take on the Nittany Lions on Sunday, with gametime set for 12:00 PM.