Sept. 18, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – With 101 minutes of action already in the books and 37 combined shot attempts on the board between the Seton Hall women’s soccer team and the a visiting Marist squad on Wednesday night, sophomore Alexis Urbanski (Aberdeen, N.J.) streaked into the area and got her head on the end of a well-placed ball from freshman Frankie Maier (Oradell, N.J.); finding the back of the net and lifting the Pirates to a thrilling, 2-1, double-overtime victory over the Red Foxes.
The goal was the first of Urbanski’s SHU career and helped Seton Hall (2-5-2) complete a comeback effort that started way back in the second minute when Marist jumped ahead by virtue of an early strike. For Maier, the helper was her second of the night after she was credited with assisting on the equalizer, giving her a second multi-point performance in just eight collegiate appearances.
The Hall was forced to play from behind at the outset as MC got on the score-sheet first after Amanda Epstein capitalized on a giveaway at the back; chipping a shot over the head of goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearny, N.J.) - who had come off her line in an attempt to clear - and fitting it just under the crossbar to give her team a 1-0 edge only 75 seconds after the opening whistle.
Senior midfielder Ashley Clarke (Paramus, N.J.) provided early indications that she would factor heavily into the Pirates’ attack, producing the team’s first two shots of the night; one which forced Marist keeper Andrea Wicks to make her first stop of the game in the 19th minute.
Off the ensuing corner, Clarke played the ball back to Maier who sent a ball towards net with pace that senior Amie Ruhe (Monrovia, Md.) was able to get a deflection on and guide the ball over the goal line despite the Red Foxes’ frantic attempt to clear. The score was the first of 2013 for Ruhe and her fourth in a Seton Hall uniform as she brought the home team back level at 1-1 with slightly less than 19 minutes gone in the half.
In addition to Maier’s helper, Clarke tallied an assist on the play, giving her four through eight matches this season and increasing her career total to 16 as she continues to inch closer to Kelly Smith’s program record off 22. Last year, Clarke tied Smith’s single season assists mark with eight and is halfway to repeating the feat with nine matches remaining in the regular season.
The Pirates spent much of the remainder of the opening period in the offensive third, outshooting Marist 5-2 and forcing three saves from Wicks heading into the break.
The second half featured a flurry of end-to-end action as the teams combined for 10 attempts at goal in the first 15 minutes of the period.
In the final half-hour of regulation, Marist rattled off a string of eight consecutive shots but the reliable Pettigrew was there to make three of her six saves on the night during the stretch to quell the Marist charge.
Amidst the MC pressure, SHU was not without opportunities of its own. In the 81st minute, sophomore defender Melissa Blevins (Laurel Springs, N.J.) who has shown a penchant for joining the attack in extended playing time thus far this season sent in a cross from the left that narrowly missed connecting with the foot of a rushing Urbanski.
Blevins produced the final shot of the first 90 minutes, but her effort sailed high and the clock ultimately expired, sending the Pirates into extra time for the third time in four home appearances this season.
The Hall seized control of proceedings straight after the resumption of play, outshooting Marist, 4-0, in the first overtime. The first shot came from Clarke who forced Wicks into action yet again. Before night’s end, Clarke would test Wicks once more while increasing her shot total to eight for the game, matching her previous career high. She now sits just two shots shy of becoming the fifth Pirate in school history to reach the 120-shot mark for her career.
Perhaps the best chance for a golden goal in the first extra 10 came in the 98th minute when senior Katie Ritter (Hagerstown, Md.) laid the ball off perfectly for Urbanski at the top of the box, allowing the sophomore to step into a right-footed shot but she couldn’t keep it under the bar.
Early in the final period, Maier found herself in possession on the right wing and lofted a ball into a dangerous area in front of the Marist net, allowing Urbanski to run on to it and power it home for the winner at exactly the 101-minute mark.
Pettigrew finished the night with six stops, blanking the Red Foxes after their opportunistic second-minute strike. She now has 48 saves for the year and has come up with at least four stops in all but two of the Pirates’ contests to this point in the season.
In four home appearances against non-league foes, she allowed only three goals over 411 minutes of action while posting two shutouts.
Urbanski’s goal gave the Pirates their 2-1 victory while also extending a number of significant streaks. SHU is now 5-0-2 in its last seven matches that have reached overtime, including a 1-0-2 mark this season.
The win also brought the team’s unbeaten streak against non-conference opponents to 13 consecutive games dating back to the middle of the 2010 campaign. Seton Hall concludes non-conference play in 2013 with a 2-0-2 mark in the role of hosts; posting wins over Army and Marist while drawing Stony Brook and Princeton.
The Pirates are off from competition this weekend and will return to Owen T. Carroll Field on Thursday, September 26 when they open BIG EAST play against rival Providence. Kick-off against the Friars is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.