GORHAM, Maine – Freshman Brittany DeGrooth (Westerly, R.I./Johnston) scored three goals and had an assist while senior Gabrielle Turner (Smithfield, R.I.) had three assists and a goal to lead the Rhode Island College Anchormen to a thrilling 4-3 win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a Little East Conference women's soccer game Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field.
Playing in its season ending game, Rhode Island College improves to 3-14 overall and 1-6 in the Little East. Southern Maine concludes its season with a 3-14 record and an 0-7 mark in the conference.
Southern Maine started the game off with a pair of fantastic chances from senior CC Pelletier (West Newfield, Maine/Massabesic), but RIC freshman goalkeeper Katherine Haley (Hope, R.I./Scituate) made two outstanding plays to keep the Huskies off of the scoreboard.
With Haley preventing an RIC deficit, DeGrooth went to work in the 12th minutes scoring back-to-back goals in less than 30 seconds to spot her team a 2-0 lead. Turner assisted on both DeGrooth goals. RIC took its 2-0 lead into the half.
Southern Maine trimmed its deficit to one goal in the 54th minute when Pelletier threaded a through ball to sophomore Jessica Preble (Milo, Maine/Penquis Valley). Pelletier started the play, winning the ball at midfield and carrying it to the top of the box before finding Preble.
Scoreless over the next 20 minutes, Turner returned the RIC lead to two goals in the 74th tapping home a rebounded shot from DeGrooth for a 3-1 Anchormen advantage. Southern Maine responded quickly however, as Preble and Pelletier connected again just 30 seconds after Turner's goal to make it 3-2.
The Huskies forced the overtime action in the 80th minute as Pelletier headed home the game-tying goal on a lofted cross to the far side of the box from freshman Sarah Michaud (Candia, N.H./Manchester Central). RIC had several attempts to score the go ahead goal in the closing minutes, but Husky senior goalkeeper Marissa Temple (Grafton, Mass.) made several highlight reel saves to keep her team in the game.
In the overtime period, DeGrooth blasted in her game-winning goal just 4:33 in on yet another assist from Turner. Turner played the ball over the top the Huskies' defense and DeGrooth took one touch and then knocked the ball to the far post past the outstretched dive of Temple for the win.
Haley made five saves for RIC to earn the victory as her team held a 22-11 advantage in shots. Temple played a strong game in goal for USM making 13 saves.
- cac -