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Canisius women’s soccer earns 2-2 draw with Niagara

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

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Game Recap
The Canisius women's soccer team scored two goals in the span of 1:24 midway through the second half and junior goalkeeper Alana Rossi made eight saves as the host Golden Griffins erased a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with long-time Niagara Wednesday night at the Demske Sports Complex. Canisius moves to 4-6-3 overall and 1-4-2 in MAAC play with the tie, while Niagara sees its record go to 7-5-2 overall and 3-2-2 in conference action.
 
After taking a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute, Niagara added to its cushion in the 50th minute when Hailey Bicknell took a feed from teammate Bayley Sullivan in the box and beat Rossi low for her fourth marker of the season. The Purple Eagles' lead would remain 2-0 until the 74th minute when Canisius junior Madeline Beaulieu put the Blue and Gold on the board with a penalty-kick goal, her team-leading sixth goal of the season. Then, just 1:24 later, Canisius knotted the game at 2-2 after juniorAlicia Larsson Vahlberg headed a crossing pass from just inside the 18-yard box off the foot of fellow juniorMargretta Dry past Niagara keeper Shania van Nuland and into the back of the net. The goal for Larsson Vahlberg was the first in her career. Neither team was able to score in the final 14 minutes of regulation time, sending the contest into overtime.
 
In the first overtime period, Niagara was credited with three shots, including one on goal, and the Purple Eagles earned four more shots in the second overtime session, with Rossi being forced to make two stops to keep the game tied at 2-2. Beaulieu had the Griffs' only shot in the overtime sessions and that shot came in the 105th minute. Her attempt was saved by van Nuland, who ended the night with four stops in 110 minutes of action.
 
Niagara outshot Canisius 27-10 for the game, with a 10-6 advantage in shots on goal. Each team had five corner kick opportunities in the contest.
 
Head Coach Todd Clark's Postgame Comments
"Winning is certainly more fun than earning a tie, but getting a tie is more fun than losing. I was happy with the comeback tonight for sure. In the first half, we had a lack of focus, but I was super pleased with effort and energy we played with in the second half."
 
Game Notes
• The game was the first contest in the 2018-19 Battle of the Bridge series, an all-sports competition between Canisius and Niagara. With the tie, each team is awarded one point toward the Canal Cup standings.
• Wednesday's match was the 48th all-time meeting between the two long-time rivals. Niagara leads the series 25-19-4.
• Each of the last two meetings between these schools have ended in a draw. Last year in the first round of the MAAC Championship in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the Griffs and Purple Eagles played to a scoreless draw before Niagara advanced in the tournament in penalty kicks.
• Canisius is now 2-0-3 in its last five home overtime games, dating back to the 2015 season.
• The goal for Beaulieu is the eighth of her career, and it marks her first career goal on a penalty kick.
• The assist for Dry is her first of the season and the seventh in her career.
 
Up Next
Canisius will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 13, when the team travels to play at Quinnipiac. Kickoff in Hamden, Conn., is set for 12 p.m.