After an hour and 40 minute delay to start the game, the Stetson women's soccer team played to a 0-0 double overtime draw against Embry-Riddle to start the 2013 season on Friday night.
“I think they’re pretty disappointed,” Stetson head coach Manoj Khettry said of his players. “I think they wanted to win. It was a really competitive match. I was excited to play it, and I’m excited to continue the relationship. But they’re disappointed. They felt that they played well at times, and they wanted to win.”
The Hatters did play well at times in their first regular season game under Khettry. Stetson outshot Embry-Riddle 6-3 in the first half, and came up with a number of great opportunities to get on the board near the end first 45 minutes of play.
With 15 minutes remaining in the first, sophomore Mara Keomanivane, senior Alyssa Welsh, and freshman Paige Law connected on a couple of nice passes in the middle, but they weren’t able to find space in the box to put the ball away.
Less than five minutes later, Keomanivane split two defenders and played a ball through the Eagles to a sprinting Welsh, but the senior’s attempt at goal was nicely saved by Embry-Riddle’s Olivia Lynch.
“I thought what was missing was that final pass, and just a little bit of hunger in the box,” Khettry said. “I thought Alyssa Welsh did a really great job of being a leader. A lot of time she was up top with two freshmen, and she got better at holding the ball against pressure, and creating some chances.”
Embry-Riddle outshot the Hatters in the second half and overtime, but Stetson wasn’t without its chances. When a rebounded ball made its way out to Keomanivane towards the right side of the box, the midfielder took a touch and just missed on a game-winner, airing her shot wide right.
It was senior goalkeeper Victoria Troccoli who saved the tie for the Hatters with a great individual effort late in regulation. After Embry-Riddle’s Katherine Ebbs threaded a ball through the defense to Valerie Obita, Troccoli came up huge with a 1-v-1 save with less than five minutes to play.
Troccoli finished with four saves, playing all 110 minutes in her first shoutout of the season. It was the second of her career at Stetson.
“I was really proud of how we competed for 110 minutes,” Khettry said. “They played fantastic at times. Whenever we match the physical intensity of our opponent, we can play. I think you saw our style coming out and emerging more in the second half and then through the overtimes.”
It wasn’t enough to come out on top in this one though, as the Hatters ended with a 0-0 double overtime tie.
Stetson will continue the season opening weekend, playing host to Troy on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Note: In an effort to help with teammate Kailani Decock’s battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the Troy women’s soccer team’s Project 19 initiative is centered on providing support and awareness for those who are battling lymphoma cancer. To make your contribution to the cause, you can buy a bracelet or simply make a donation at the table at midfield on Sunday. To keep up with Kailani’s journey, you can follow along on Twitter or Instagram at Project19KD or on Facebook by searching Project19KD. We thank you for your support.