TEANECK, N.J. – Dara Battistoni (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Arlington) converted a penalty in kick in the 115th minute to give Fairleigh Dickinson a 3-2 win over Saint Francis U in the Northeast Conference opener for both sides.
The Knights' win makes five straight over Saint Francis U and the four straight wins in NEC opener.
"We came out strong and played a really good first 10 minutes or so and got on the board," said head coachEric Teepe postgame. "We allowed them to come back and put us under pressure, which led to them going up, but we responded well. A little-undisciplined play after we scored [to tie it] made us go the last 80 minutes down a player."
"It is not something [team's resiliency] new, we are struggling with a lot of different things this year but they keep battling, This game was a true character test and for them to come through will help us going forward."
Battistoni put the penalty to the left of Saint Francis U's (2-10, 0-1 NEC) Julia Hernan to give Fairleigh Dickinson (3-9, 1-0 NEC) its 11th straight win over NEC schools. Daria Jones (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial) was taken down in the box that gave the penalty to the Knights.
The Knights played a man down for the final 80 minutes after the Knights scored to tie the game in the 31st minute from Elma Kolenovic (New York, N.Y./NYC Lab) off an assist from Jessi Reinhardt(Freiburg, Germany/Burggymansium). Kolenovic's tally was her sixth of the season, which leads the team and the NEC. Reinhardt's assist was her fourth of the season, which also leads the team and the NEC.
Connie Lewis (Outer Cove, Newfoundland/Gonzaga ) broke the ice for the Knights in the 12th minute when she knocked in her second of the season on an assist from Jackson Bennett (Toronto, Ontario/Humberside Collegiate Institute) after the Red Flash tried clearing a Knight corner kick.
A pair of Knight turnovers in their own half led to both goals for Saint Francis U, which were scored less than two minutes apart by Abigail Tarosky (22:39) and Casey Gallaher (24:15).
Amanda Fitzgerald (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) made nine saves on the afternoon, including one on Sara Suler with less than two minutes remaining from a shot inside the box. The win was the freshman's second this season. The Knights had two chances in the final five minutes from Bennett and Stasi Torchia (Pickering, Ontario/St. Mary's), but Hernan turned Bennett away and Torchia's chance went over the crossbar.
Saint Francis U had three shots in the first overtime – one saved and two off target – and one in the second overtime prior to Battistoni winning the game from the spot.
The Red Flash fired 24 shots compared to Fairleigh Dickinson's 14, three of which came after halftime.
The Knights have a week off before traveling to Staten Island, New York to face the Seahawks of Wagner. Game time is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 9.