After facing a two-goal deficit early, the Castleton women’s soccer team rallied back to beat conference-leading Eastern Connecticut 4-3, thanks to Mackenzi Bellando’s overtime goal on Saturday Oct. 13.
“We definitely had the extra push from coming back after being down 2-0,” Bellando said after the game, “The whole second half, including the overtime, was more of a mental game. We couldn’t control the weather, but we could control our effort.”
The visiting Warriors started off strong in the wet conditions of Dave Wolk Stadium, as Senior Ally Clark scored two unassisted goals in the game’s first seventeen minutes.
Unfazed by both the weather and their opponent, Bellando started the scoring for the Spartans in the twenty-fourth minute by putting a ball from sophomore Rylee Nichols in the left corner of the net. Freshman Callie Miltenberger would tie the game up for Castleton in the thirty-ninth minute with her first career goal.
The game continued in the second half with both teams tied at two and aggressively fighting for the go-ahead goal. The deadlock would be broken in the seventy-sixth minute, when Castleton suffered an own goal.
The Spartans answered back quickly, however. Just three minutes later, Freshman Stephanie Burkhammer sent a long pass to Senior Bronwen Hopwood, who put the ball in from five yards out for her third goal of the year and the last goal of regulation time.
Five minutes into the overtime period, Hopwood dribbled the ball down the far sideline with a defender tight on her, before sending it to Bellando for the game-winning score in the far left corner.
Coach Chris Chapdelaine had nothing but good things to say about Bellando postgame.
“Energy. I think anyone that watched the game could tell that she all the energy for us. Her work rate and determination became contagious in the second half,” Chapdelaine said.
Castleton is now 5-10 on the season, and 3-3 in conference play. They will return to the field Saturday Oct. 20 in a home matchup versus Maine Farmington.