Worcester, Mass. – Only two other teams in the 36 seasons of Clark women's soccer history can claim that they had as good a start as the 2016 edition. Freshman Alyssa Moreau (Huntington, Mass.) scored the golden goal late in the first overtime to send Clark to a thrilling 1-0 win over crosstown rival Worcester State on Saturday afternoon.
Score: Clark University 1, Worcester State 0 (OT)
Records: Clark University 4-0, Worcester State 1-3
Location: Granger Soccer Turf Field, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
After each team failed to truly muster a legitimate scoring chance throughout a pair of regulation periods that featured a heavy downpour to begin the game and then glaring sunlight in the second half, Moreau finally broke through as the extra session wound down.
The ball was played in from the leftside into the box where it found the foot of Simone McGuinness (Chevy Chase, Md.) but she was draped by Worcester State defenders. She was able to slip a pass over to Moreau, who caught Lancer netminder Vanessa O'Donnell off guard and Moreau was able to slot her low rolling shot into the left side of the net at 94:02.
Rylee Simons (Weston, Fla.) anchored an incredible backline for the Cougars all afternoon long, constantly helping to thwart Worcester State offensive opportunities to the point where the Lancers only mustered one shot on goal.
The reigning NEWMAC Defensive player of the week, Julianna Christy (Plainville, Conn.) wasn't asked to do much in recording just one save, but the first-year netminder lowered her goals against average to 0.51 and hasn't allowed a goal since late in the Framingham State contest – a span of 185:02 of game time.
"I thought we played some of our best soccer yet," said Clark head coach Brie Smith. "Our back four was outstanding and came up big on more than occasion. I am very proud of our effort today."
The other two teams to also have a 4-0 start in Clark history were the 1986 team that finished 14-4-2 and the 1998 squad that went on to the program's only NCAA Tournament appearance. Ironically, that 1998 team had sophomore midfielder named Brienne Smith – Clark's current head coach.
Clark is off until Tuesday when they visit Curry College for a non-conference affair beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Lancers, meanwhile, will next be in action on Tuesday as well when they travel to WPI for a 4:00 p.m. showdown.