After a season of scoring droughts and uncertainty, the Millersville Marauders soccer team finished strong. Two overtime wins down the stretch against Kutztown and Shippensburg capped a four game win streak.
Against 14th ranked Kutztown on October 28, it took the Marauders two overtime periods to emerge as winners. It was the last home game of the season for the Marauders. Senior midfielder Sarah Cameron made her last home game one to remember when she broke the ice and scored the game’s first goal just before halftime.
Midway through the second half Kutztown answered and tied the game 1-1. The game went scoreless the rest of the way and overtime was needed to decide the outcome. After the first overtime ended, Kutztown and Millersville were still deadlocked at 1-1.
As the second overtime period looked as though it was going to lead to a third overtime period, the Marauders were awarded a corner kick. Briana Pham lined up a corner kick that sailed into the box and bounced of the foot of midfielder Lauren Thomas, and junior midfielder buried the deflection in the lower left corner with 15 seconds left.
The Marauders took their momentum from the victory against Kutztown on the road to Shippensburg. The Marauders took the field against the Raiders for the last time this season. A spot in the PSAC playoffs was on the line for the Raiders. Spoiler is a role no team wants to play, but somebody has to do it, and enter stage left, Millersville Marauders.
The game was a defensive battle for the first two halves of play. The first half was almost eventless, but both teams played with more urgency in the second half. Both goalkeepers combined for 14 saves in the second half. Millersville goalkeeper Taylor Suskie tallied up eight of the 12 saves turning away four shots each from Raiders Gayle Kuntzmann and Katie Levitz.
After the goalie clinic put on by Millersville and Shippensburg teams, the game was at a standstill. The Marauders were facing another overtime period, but they made sure it only took one overtime period. The Halloween thriller ended early in the first overtime. Alison Silva headed the game winning score past Shippensburg Goalie Beth Long.
Alison Silva’s header was more than just one goal. The goal kept Shippensburg out of the PSAC playoffs. It was a goal that helped the Marauders finish their season with a four game winning streak. Finally, that goal helped Millersville tally up one more win than they did a season ago.
Millersville finished their 2009 campaign with a 7-11-1 record overall and a 4-7-1 record in the PSAC. They finished fifth overall in the PSAC, and missed the playoffs by a single point. Although the Marauders will take a four game win streak into next season, they also have the most wins in a single season for head coach Mike O’Brien. There is a lot to be proud of for the Marauders; they beat teams they were not expected to, and they showed toughness.
A year from now who knows where they will be, but the Marauders will be a team to watch in the PSAC, that is for certain.