New Paltz defeats Rowan in OT
Balestrieri scores overtime goal to help the Hawks advance
LYNCHBURG, Va. -- New Paltz beat Rowan 2-1 in overtime in a 2011 NCAA tournament second-round game.
The Hawks, who are competing in their first NCAA tournament, advance on to the third round, where they will face top-ranked Messiah (19-0-1).
Senior midfielder Alexa Balestrieri ended the game with 2:15 remaining in the first overtime period, as she scored unassisted on the Hawks' lone shot in overtime. Her score capped a comeback that saw the Hawks dig themselves out of a one-goal hole in a game in which Rowan oftentimes dominated possession.
Rowan got on the board first in the 10th minute when Erika Suhl uncorked a shot from the right flank that was saved by an outstretched junior goalkeeper Stephanie Vega. Unable to control possession, the ball popped out to the top of the six-yard box, and Miranda Donnian tapped the ball in with no Hawk defenders in sight.
The Profs continued to possess well and had numerous chances to go up by two. During the first half, Rowan outshot New Paltz 9-1.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, however, the Hawks picked up the offensive pressure, linking passes in their offensive third. Rowan fought back by forcing Vega into action in the 40th minute, but New Paltz upped the ante enough in the late moments of the first stanza to produce the equalizer.
With two seconds left in the first half, freshman midfielder Rebecca Rothman sent a high cross in from the right side, which junior midfielder Beth Bowling handled and sent into the back of the right-hand side of the net from inside the six-yard box.
In the second half, New Paltz continued to find feet, gaining more and more opportunities in its offensive third.
Junior midfielder Shelby Kondelka almost put the Hawks ahead in the 70th minute, firing a shot that was set aside by Rowan goalkeeper Maria Dorris.
Rowan took three shots in the final 15 minutes of regulation, but each team had a chance to win it in the final two minutes. The Hawks had a set piece opportunity in their attacking third just under the two-minute mark, and the Profs had a corner-kick opportunity with 24 seconds left to play. Neither team, however, was able to capitalize on its opportunity, and the game went into overtime.
The Profs held the upper hand in nearly every statistical category. Rowan outshot New Paltz 20-6 and gained nine corner kicks to the Hawks' five. Vega picked up the victory in goal for New Paltz, making six stops, while Maria Dorris turned aside one shot in the loss for Rowan.