Griffs draw with Saint Peter’s; OT loss to Rider

Women’s soccer went to overtime twice this week, ending in a draw with St. Peter’s and a loss to Rider.

Alicia Larsson Vahlberg passes the ball upfield during a game against Fairfield Oct. 5. The Griffs lost, 1-0. Photo by Dean Bogart.

With MAAC playoff implications on the line, the Canisius Women’s Soccer team pulled off a 2-2 draw against the St.Peter’s Peacocks on Senior Day this past Saturday and a crucial loss at the hands of the Rider Broncos by a score of 2-1 with 19 seconds left to play in the first overtime period Wednesday night. 

With their record now sitting under .500 at 6-7-2 with a conference record at 1-5-2, the  Griffs are officially out of playoff contention. 

After a pre-game ceremony at Demske Sports Complex for the seven seniors on the roster      the Griffs set out to get another win under their belt against a St. Peter’s Peacock team that was last in the MAAC standings entering the day. 

An early goal by junior Shauna Lee in the 22nd minute started the scoring as she weaved her way through the Peacock defense and put a well placed shot to the bottom-right corner of the net. 

Canisius picked up their second goal of the game in the 61st minute as freshman Hannah Kim crossed a pass into the box from the left side, eventually finding fellow forward Alicia Larsson Vahlberg who fired a shot that found the back of the net for her second goal on the year. 

With a commanding lead going late into the second half, head coach Todd Clark brought in many substitutions, and St. Peter’s made it their goal to put a ripple in their postseason aspirations. The Peacocks forced the game into overtime with goals by Julianna Murrill and Madison Greenberg.

In both overtime periods, Canisius had many opportunities by pushing the tempo but just could not capitalize on those chances, which was the same story during the first and second halves, but nobody scored as the Griffs were put in a must-win situation in their next game.

Three days later, the windy and cold environment at Demske had a huge factor on both the Griffs and Broncs with 25 MPH winds howling side to side. At the end of the first half both teams were in a defensive battle as the score was dead-lock at zero. 

As the team traded blows that got shut down by their respective defenses, the high-powered Broncs offense was finally woken up in the 75th minute when freshman Hailey Russell nailed the side of the post and the ball snuck into the net to put the Broncs up one. 

The Griffs revamped their offense by having an array of opportunities to tie the game at one, and fulfilled that task as sophomore midfielder Hannah Morpurgo juked around a Rider defender to get to the outside to set up a cross pass far side to Margretta Dry that flew in for the header goal in the 86th minute, her third of the year. 

At the end of regulation the score was knotted at one and would need extra time to see if the Griffs could hold on to any last hopes to sneak into the playoffs. 

With 19 ticks left on the clock before the second overtime was needed, Broncs’ Russell controlled the pass, spun to the left, and placed a shot right over Canisius goalie Alana Rossi’s outstretched hand to score the dagger to win the gritty contest, 2-1. 

Clark spoke highly of his teams heart by saying “I’m extremely proud of this team,” he said. “Keeps proving that we are not the same team we have been in recent years and I believe that is something to be proud of.” 

Canisius will look to get back into the win column and back to .500 as they travel to New Rochelle, New York in a battle against the Iona Gaels (5-11-2, 2-5-1). Gametime is set for this Saturday at 1 p.m. 

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