Sports | Soccer

Melo leads women's soccer to double-overtime victory

  • Kiera Wood / Senior Staff Photographer
    crunch time | With just three minutes to go in double overtime, senior Natalie Melo scored the game-winning goal for the Light Blue.

In a midweek matchup at home against Lafayette (5-7-1), women’s soccer (7-4-2, 0-2-1 Ivy) claimed a stunning 3-2, double-overtime victory, coming from behind to win 3-2. Senior Natalie Melo led the charge with two goals and an assist.

“It was good to get a comeback,” Melo said after the game. “We struggled a bit at the end of the first half—we were a goal down—but I thought we hustled well and got a possession back.”

Nearly surrendering an early goal off of a corner kick—reminiscent of Columbia’s last outing against Penn—sophomore goalkeeper Gabby Dubick made the save to prevent the Light Blue from falling into a hole early on. Though the contest was roughly even to open play, at the 20-minute mark senior Beverly Leon provided the setup for Melo’s third goal of the season, which gave the Lions a 1-0 edge.

Dubick came through again when Lafayette’s Alyssa Finelli got a good look on goal shortly after Columbia took the lead. But another shot from Allie Torru sailed over Dubick’s head at the 33-minute mark, tying the game at one.

Five minutes later, the defense committed a penalty, setting up Lafayette’s Alex Reisinger for a goal off the free shot to put the Lions down a goal.

But the Lions were able to make some quality changes toward the end of the game to knot the score.

On the defensive side, junior Grace Redmon took over at goal in the second half. On a penalty, Melo provided an assist for junior Alexa Yow, who put the ball into the back of the net off a header to tie things up with 20 minutes left in regulation. Though the Lions pressed, their next three scoring opportunities were swallowed up by the Leopard defense, sending the match into overtime.

“It was just tenacity, hustle, and focusing on our game,” Melo said on the team’s adjustments. “Keeping possession of the ball, focusing on quality chances, completing our chances, and playing our ball.” 

Though the Lions came in with a 1-0-2 overtime record in 2013, the first overtime didn’t go their way. Junior Phoenetia Browne had a chance to score on a breakaway in the final minute of the first overtime, but her shot fell short.

With just three minutes to go in the second OT period, Melo secured her second game-winning goal of the season thanks to a pass from junior Erin Falk.

“Erin was getting in all day on the right side, so we were trying to find her every time,” Melo said. “She made a great play, got past her defender and just played me a simple ball. And luckily I was able to get it in the frame.” 

With another dramatic win under their belts to close out nonconference play, the Lions will travel to New Jersey to play Princeton on Saturday.

sports@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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