The Central Connecticut women's soccer team (0-1-0) dropped its season opener to Vermont (1-0-0) by a score of 3-2 in double overtime Friday at the TD Bank Classic in Vermont.
The Blue Devils suffered a tough luck loss as Vermont scored with less than five minutes remaining in the second overtime.
The back and forth affair showed Central outshoot Vermont 17-9, with 13 of them coming in the second half and overtime. CCSU landed eight shots on goal while Vermont only had six.
The Catamounts struck first in the seventh minute when Nikki McFarland scored off of a corner kick from Taylor Palmer. Less than a minute later Central responded to tie the game at 1-1 when Charlie Branch found the back of the net on a shot from distance that bounced over the goalkeepers head. The goal by Branch was her first career goal in her first career game as a Blue Devil. Branch is a Norwich, England native and transferred from Monroe College for this season.
Vermont took the lead again in the 12th minute when Caroline Greer scored on a long distance shot before the half making the score 2-1.
Minutes into the second half, freshman Kacie O'Neill secured a pass from senior captain Tori Sousa and netted her first collegiate goal to tie the game at 2-2. Sousa played a long through ball to O'Neill and she shot it passed the UVM goalkeeper into the far corner.
As play continued, there were a significant amount of chances for both teams to take the lead, but neither could find the back of the net by the end of regulation.
In the second 10 minute overtime, Vermont caught a break. A scramble in the six yard box led to Sarah Martin slotting a shot past CCSU sophomore goalkeeper Nicki Turley as the game winning goal.
The Blue Devil offense was paced by the play of Branch, O'Neill and Sousa. Other than the assist, Sousa also had three shots with one of them being on goal. O'Neill and Branch combined for six total shots with three of them being on target. Junior Cailynn Harding also added an assist.
Turley made her first career start in goal and only her third career appearance for the Blue Devils. She played all 107:42 between the pipes and finished with three saves.
The women's soccer team looks to get its first win of the year when it returns to action Sunday at 11 a.m. against the University of New Hampshire in the TD Bank Classic. The game will be played on the University of Vermont soccer field.