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This week in Black Bears’ women’s soccer

Over this past week, the University of Maine women’s soccer team had contests against the University of Vermont and University of Massachusetts Lowell, played on Sept. 29 and Oct. 3, respectfully. During their first game, the then 4-3 Back Bears looked to stop a losing streak on Sunday afternoon’s conference against the University of Vermont Catamounts. Both teams scored one goal each and had smothering defensive plays, in addition to incredible goaltending performances, leading to a 1-1 tie at Virtue Field. 

Both offenses moved the ball down the field but couldn’t set up good shots on goal. After neither team scored in the first 44 minutes of a 45 minute half, it appeared that the first half was going to remain scoreless. With under 30 seconds left in the half, second-year midfielder Julia Mahoney put the Black Bears up 1-0 off of an assist from fourth-year midfielder Kayla Bruce.

Early into the second half Vermont came out ready to play, scoring early. The shot was made by third-year midfielder Ella Bankerta and was unassisted from outside the 18-foot box. Though Bankerta tied the game, there were still 40 minutes left in the half, giving both teams plenty of time to score. Instead, both locked down their defensive efforts even further, and the game turned into a short field struggle. During overtime, both teams took their respective shots on goal, but impressive continued defensive efforts kept the score tied, forcing double overtime. The streak continued and neither team would score again ending the game at 1-1, giving Maine a 4-3-1 record.

The second game took place in Maine at the Mahaney Diamond as Maine took on the University of Massachusetts Lowell Riverhawks. The matchup was an anticipated conference matchup. Maine would fall short with a close 2-1 Thursday night loss. 

Early into the first half, the Riverhawks came out firing, moving the ball down the field efficiently. Third-year midfielder Kristin Birgisdottir shot a ball down the center of the Maine defense to assist second-year forward Karah Fleet who dribbled once before cranking a shot past Maine’s second-year goaltender Kira Kutzinski to give Lowell the 1-0 lead. 

Lowell’s second-year midfielder Emily Nelson assisted a fast break between second-year defender Hailey Dubose and Maine third-year midfielder Emma Cossette. Dubose won the fast break and scored Lowell’s second goal of the night.

With 25 minutes left in the second half, Maine was in need of a score, and second-year forward Gaby Panagakos delivered just that. She fired a shot from almost midfield hoping one of her forward teammates would corral the pass and shoot for a score. Instead, the ball made a single bounce and flew up into the top corner of the goal. 

Following Maine’s wild score, Lowell gave up their offensive efforts and prevented Maine from scoring for the remainder of the contest. Maine falls to 4-4-1 after the 2-1 loss to Lowell. After starting off the season with heat, Maine seems to be in a rut. Following a contest on Sunday, Oct. 6 against Hartford, Maine will host Binghamton University on Sunday, Oct. 13 at noon.  

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