RINDGE, N.H. (October 10, 2018) – If Charles Dickens had lived in 21st-century New Hampshire, rather than 19th-century England, perhaps the play would have wound up titled "A Tale of Two Halves". Over the course of a roller-coaster affair worthy of its own three-act play, the women's soccer teams of Franklin Pierce and Saint Rose faced both the best of times and the worst of times, often at each other's expense, on Sodexo Field. After being imprisoned in a 2-0 deficit heading into halftime, the No. 15 nationally ranked Ravens put together a 17-shot second-half revolution, which eventually saw the game leveled at 2-2. An 80th-minute tally from senior midfielder Nathalia Maria da Silva (Sao Paulo, Brazil) would ultimately stand as the game-tying goal, as the two sides played to a wildly-entertaining, 2-2 draw in the Northeast-10 Conference contest.
With the tie, Franklin Pierce now stands at 9-1-1 (8-1-1 NE10), while Saint Rose moves to 9-2-2 (7-2-1 NE10).
The first act on Wednesday night featured Saint Rose jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes on the road, in front of a large, pro-Ravens crowd. In the 13th minute, the Golden Knights were awarded a free kick approximately 35 yards in front of the left post. Junior forward Nina Predanic took her shot from there, which hit halfway up the inside of the left post and wound up in the net to open the scoring. It was Predanic's 11th goal of the season.
In the 20th minute, Predanic set up the third goal of the campaign for freshman forward Kaelyn Britt on a counter-attack into the offensive third. With the ball on the right side, Predanic drew the goalkeeper and the defense, and then slipped a centering pass into the six-yard box. Britt was left with an empty net for the easy tap-in to double the Saint Rose lead to 2-0.
The second act on the Sodexo Field stage saw the Ravens storm out of the gates in the second half. Franklin Pierce piled up a 17-2 advantage in shots in the period, including an 8-1 margin in shots on goal, while generating chance after chance. In the 55th minute, junior midfielder Gabi Pereira (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) took a free kick from 25 yards out on the left-wing side, but put the shot over the top of the goal. In the 58th minute, freshman forward Ciersten Palumbo (Holbrook, N.Y.) had a chance from the top of the penalty area, but pushed the shot wide to the right.
The attack paid off in the 64th minute, in the aftermath of a free kick from 35 yards in front of the goal. Pereira took a shot on the free kick, which was saved by Saint Rose junior goalkeeper Marika Laurendeau. Laurendeau could not control the ball though, and senior back Marta Turmo (Barcelona, Spain) got to the rebound first. Turmo pumped her first goal of the year to the back of the net to cut the gap to 2-1 with 26:20 to play.
After the Ravens put chances from the top of the box over the goal in the 70th and 75th minutes, da Silva would net the equalizer in the 80th minute, for her team-leading 10th goal of the season. Cutting toward the top of the penalty area from the right side of the midfield, it appeared freshman back Cristina Barbellido (Madrid, Spain) attempted to step into a big shot with her left foot. However, she made only partial contact, and instead tapped the ball off to the left for da Silva. The touch proved fortuitous, as da Silva then stepped into a shot from 15 yards out and beat Laurendeau into the left side of the net to even the score.
The third act consisted of the final 10 minutes of regulation, plus 20 minutes across two overtime periods, all of which went without further scoring. The Ravens had the better of the chances the rest of the way, as they chalked up seven shots against just two for Saint Rose across the two overtime sessions. In the end though, the teams would combine for just one shot on goal in overtime, as the curtain dropped on the game without a winner decided.
Freshman goalkeeper Casey Kane (Millis, Mass.) finished with three saves against five shots on goal on the way to the tie (6-1-1) in front of the Franklin Pierce goal. Laurendeau (9-2-2) was busier at the other end of the field, as she chalked up nine saves against 11 shots in the draw.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, Oct. 13, when they remain home to host Pace in an NE10 contest. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Sodexo Field.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce soccer apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (https://www.fpuravens.com/store).