|Devon Wolfenden, a key component to the Cougar's attack splits two defenders to fire a shot on goal.|
4 Minute Lapse Costs Cougars Win
(Holyoke, MA) On a rainy Sunday afternoon, the Holyoke Community College women's soccer team was tested by the tough ASA Avengers from Brooklyn, New York, a non-regional opponent. The Cougars entered the game off an 11-0 win the previous day, but knowing that ASA would be a true test of their cohesion, skill, and focus.
Center midfielders Nikki Callini (West Springfield, MA) and Jess Teodore (Southwick, MA) went to work in the first half, scoring one goal apiece and allowing a 2 goal cushion. Callini's 14th goal on the season was assisted by Tyler Lendon (Springfield, MA) while consistent producer Devon Wolfenden (East Longmeadow, MA) set up Teodore (10th goal on the season). Playing smart on the offensive end and defending against the continuous counterattack of the Avenger's, the Cougar's entered the second half comfortably with a 2-0 lead.
Twenty-one minutes into the second half, ASA finally found a way to beat the Cougar's stellar defense and last hope, keeper Amanda Olson (Hadley, MA/13 saves), scoring their first goal of the game and setting the stage for a comeback. Notched at 2-1, four minutes was all the Avengers needed to not only score the equalizer, but put the Cougar's down by two. In the 72nd minute, ASA scored the tying goal (2-2). Two minutes later, the energy and momentum carried the Avengers to a 3rd goal of the half and 3-2 lead. Just four short minutes after this wave of energy began, the Cougar's found themselves facing a 2 goal deficit and would be unable to recover in the remaining 15 minutes of play, losing 4-2.
Coach Rob Galazka commended his entire team for playing very well against a strong opponent, one who posed a potent attack rattling off 17 shots on goal, the most productive opponent offense his team has seen this year. They held a great team at bay for all but those dominant four minutes. Tyler Lendon, who assisted on Callini's goal, played a solid game for the Cougar's and summed up the four minute scoring surge of the Avengers, saying, "We let our guard down, and they made us pay dearly!"
Although a tough loss, this is a game the Cougar's will remember as they continue their championship campaign. The Cougar's overall record drops to 8-4-0, but they remain untouchable in Region XXI Division III standings at 5-0-0. The ladies will hit the road to take on Bunker Hill Thursday, October 10th. In the previous meeting between the two teams, the Cougar's walked away with a 16-1 win. The next women's soccer homestand will be October 12th versus the Springfield College Junior Varsity squad.