Millersville, Pa. – Freshman Kelsey Mattola came through for Millersville when it needed it most. With the Marauders and Rams tied late in the game, Mattola found a seam in the Shepherd defense and put it top-shelf to give Millersville a 3-2 and the first win of the season.
The Marauders shutout the Rams a year ago in a 1-0 battle, and Shepherd wanted revenge. It took just over three minutes for them to find it. Kelsey Smith found herself with the ball in the box after a mishandle by the Millersville defense for an easy goal and a 1-0 advantage.
Despite the early lead, Shepherd was unable to have possession of the ball in much of the first half. The Marauders outshot the Rams by a margin of 12-2 in the first session.
Niki Roberts found the back of the net first for Millersville. Coming up from her defensive position, Roberts put one past Shepherd’s Tess Jones to knot the game at one with 24 minutes to play in the half.
In a game that only saw six combined fouls, the Ram’s second was a costly one. Millersville’s Allison Snyder lined up a free kick just outside of the box, about 25 yards out, with 12 minutes left in the first. Snyder spun the ball from right to left over the Shepherd’s wall of defense and past the goalkeeper to send the Marauders into the break up, 2-1.
The second half resembled the first with Millersville again out playing the Rams on the offensive side of the field. The Marauders finished the game with a 21-4 advantage in shots.
Shepherd did not give up the fight. Smith silenced the Millersville faithful with her second goal of the evening in the 65th minute to tie the game at 2-2.
The game tightened up with the looks of going to an overtime period. But then there was an opportunity for the Marauders.
Millersville’s Taylor Suskie showed why she is so valuable on the attack with a perfect through-pass between two defenders that found Mattola all alone with the goalkeeper. Without any hesitation or juke, Mattola ripped it high and right to seal the game for Millersville.
The Marauders finished the game with nine shots on goal from six different players. Millersville also dominated the corner attempts with nine to Shepherd’s zero.
Millersville is back in action at home this Saturday, Sept. 3 when it takes on the Griffins of Chestnut Hill. The game is slated for 1 p.m.