The Spartans women’s soccer team played its last regular season game against Keene State, ending in a hard fought 1-1 draw last Wednesday.
Both teams found the back of the net in the first half, but that was the end of the scoring. Castleton forward Makenzi Bellando blasted the Spartans to an early lead five minutes into the game. Rylee Nichols lofted a pass over the Keene State defense and Bellando buried the first shot of the game into the left post for the goal.
But Keene State dominated the first half, taking 10 shots to Castleton’s one, and managed to get one back 25 minutes in. Taylor Fargland snuck it past Castleton goalie Kylie Baran after a free kick by Katie Silegy found its way to her feet.
The second half was a defensive battle that saw neither team able to score. Nichols found an opportunity late in the half on a break away, but the Owl’s goalie Shelby Offord made the save. Baran was equally stout, making four saves in the half.
The overtime periods were more of the same as both teams found cracks in the exhausted defenses but couldn’t capitalize.
Despite the tie, Keene State was in control for most of it, boasting 27 shots (11 on goal) to Castleton’s five shots (three on goal).
Offord finished with two saves for the Owls. Meanwhile, Baran finished with a career high 10 saves. When asked about how important Baran, a senior who had played no games in goal prior to this season, has been to the season, head coach Chris Chapdelaine was all smiles.
“It’s been awesome, who would’ve thought that’s what would have happened or that’s what we’d have seen, but you know, she’s stepped up in her senior year and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Chapdelaine said. “And she’s been terrific.”
The Spartans finished 9-7-2 overall with a strong 8-1 NAC conference record. For Chapdelaine the season was a success.
“I think we’ve had a pretty good season. We lost 16 players from last season … I’m really proud of our work ethic and how these girls bring it every day,” he said.
Up next for the Spartans are the NAC playoffs and they’re looking to make a deep run as the second seed.