CASTLETON, VT – Junior forward, Amber Murphy scored with 24 seconds remaining in the first overtime to propel the third-seeded University of Maine-Farmington to a 1-0 North Atlantic Conference Semifinal win at second-seed Castleton State College.
Both teams battled through 90 minutes of scoreless soccer to set up the sudden-victory overtime period. Castleton had a number of chances throughout regulation, out-shooting the Beavers 22-8 on the afternoon. Farmington bent, but would not break as the Beaver defense turned away countless opportunities.
Farmington also had several excellent chances on counter-attacks, but likewise, the Spartan defense held strong.
With 40 seconds remaining in regulation, Castleton sophomore, Courtney Chadburn set up for the team’
s eighth corner kick of the game. Chadburn played the ball into the goal mouth and it seemed destined for the far post. Farmington goal keeper, McKell Barnes made, quite possibly, the play of the afternoon when she rose above the crowd and punched the ball away, forcing overtime.
The game appeared destined for a second overtime, but with 24 seconds left, an odd play set up Murphy for the game winner. Castleton once again appeared to turn away a scoring chance, Murphy was able to force a turnover 40 yards away from the goal. Murphy then played a harmless pass into the box that Castleton goalie Nakita Baldic lined up in her sights. Baldic tried to play the ball off of a hop but it took an awkward bounce over her head and trickled just inside the far post for the game winner.
Both defenses and goal keepers were outstanding in the back for the entire afternoon, with Baldic stopping one shot and Barnes four. Castleton’s season comes to a close at 11-8 overall with the loss.
Farmington awaits the winner the other semifinal match between top-seed Husson University and fourth-seeded Green Mountain College to be played Sunday, Nov. 2 at 1 pm. The NAC Final will be played at the highest remaining seed on Nov. 8 at a time yet to be determined.