It was a game of goalies on Tuesday, Sept. 25, when the Yellowjackets hosted a talented St. John Fisher College squad. Though a number of the home team’s offensive threats, especially senior forward Rachel Wesley and junior forward Grace Van der Ven, kept the game up-tempo and had their opportunities to score throughout, it was senior goalkeeper Bridget Lang who kept UR in the game, as time and again she turned away the Cardinals’ own potent attack.
Van der Ven had a number of early chances to put the home team up in the first half. Thirty one minutes in, the forward maneuvered her way around several Fisher defenders and took aim. Unfortunately, Fisher goalie Jessica Plukas was there to make the stop.
Plukas proved to be a seemingly immovable force in the net, as time and again she rejected UR’s efforts to pull ahead.
Sophomore forward Morgan O’Brien and sophomore midfielder Ashley Hunt both had shots on goal early in the second half, only to have Plukas be there, poised to catch the ball and hurl it back downfield. The teams were tied 0-0 at the end of regulation, and headed into overtime.
Finding little to do throughout much of regulation time, Lang was called upon to save the Yellowjackets when the game went to extra time. Three minutes into the second overtime, with the game still scoreless, Fisher forward Alex Rohloff made a bid for the win when she took a hard shot right on net. Lang, however, had other plans, as she coolly turned away the Cardinals and kept the home team’s hopes alive.
UR finally bested Plukas in the waning moments of double overtime, when senior defender Alaina Wayland made a quick pass to Van der Ven in the center of the box in front of the Cardinals’ net. Van der Ven found senior defender Alyssa Abel surging forward, who trapped the ball and fired from 25 yards out. The ball sailed into the top left corner, sealing the game for the home team — four seconds before the game would’ve been deemed a tie.
This was the fourth extra-time game the Yellowjackets have been a part of throughout their first eight games of the season. Lang managed five saves to earn her second shutout of the season.
UR next hosts University Athletic Association (UAA) rival Brandeis University, ranked 20th in the nation, on Saturday, Sept. 29 as both squads hope to open conference play on the right foot.
Bernstein is a member of the class of 2014.