North Adams, MA- The visiting Bridgewater State University women's soccer team finally broke through in double overtime as Nicole Simas netted the game winner for the Bears as they defeated the MCLA Trailblazers 1-0 at Shewcraft Field. The Bears finish the regular season at 9-5-2 overall, but more importantly finish the MASCAC slate at 5-1-1. They will await tomorrow's matchup between Westfield State and Salem State for seeding in next week championships.
MCLA finishes their respective season at 6-11 (1-6 MASCAC).
The visitors were frustrated all night long by the stellar play of MCLA goal keeper Megan Richardson. The Bears owned a decided shot advantage (42-3) and time after time, went face to face with Richardson, but the senior stood tall and kept the Bears off the scoreboard until Simas' heroics.
In the second OT, Simas dribbled through the defense and settled just inside the box. She ripped a shot that went off the back of a Trailblazer defender and went in the opposite direction of Richardson as it easily went in to send the Bears to the victory. It was a difficult end to what was an unbelievable performance from Richardson.
The senior collected 20 saves, many of the highlight variety. Bridgewater had a golden chance to end the contest with about ten minutes to play when Simas was stopped twice. The first brought Richardson off the line and she made a sprawling save, but Simas got the rebound. She attempted to head the ball towards the right corner, but a Trailblazer defender cleared the ball just shy of the goal line in essence sending the game to overtime.
In the first OT, Bridgewater thought they had it won on the opening possession. Alana Vincent's shot was very close to crossing the line, but Richardson got just enough of it to keep the game scoreless for the time being.
Kellie Souza earned the win for Bridgewater stopping the one shot she saw on goal. She improved to 9-5-2 on the season. Simas and Vincent were tough to handle all night for the Trailblazer defense as they amassed 17 shots between the two of them.
BSU owned a 13-1 edge in corner kicks as well.