Behind Erin Ahmed’s game-winning goal, the New York University women’s soccer team defeated New Jersey City University 3-2 in the semifinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Metro Championship on Saturday, November 12, at Gaelic Park in Riverdale, NY.
With the win, the top-seeded Violets (13-6) advance to the ECAC Metro Championship Game on Sunday at 5:00 pm at Gaelic Park. They will face #2 seed Richard Stockton College (15-6-4), which defeated #3 seed Mount Saint Mary College 3-0 in the day’s other semifinal.
NYU held on for a thrilling victory over the fourth-seeded Gothic Knights (14-8) after failing to maintain an early lead. The Violets scored twice in the game’s first 12 minutes to go up 2-0, but New Jersey City rallied to tie with a pair of goals in the first six minutes of the second half.
However, NYU needed just four minutes to regain the lead, this time for good. In the 55th minute, Serra Tumay played a short corner to Natalie Beach, who gave it back to Tumay. She then played a perfect cross into the box, which Ahmed headed in.
A minute later, a New Jersey City shot struck the crossbar, nearly tying things back up. But from there, NYU allowed just one more shot while creating several dangerous chances en route to earning the victory.
“We’re confident in our abilities as a team,” said Violet head coach Michele Canning. “We can raise the level of our game when we need to.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to play in the Championship,” she added. “We hope to finish the season strong.”
The Violets started the semifinals extremely strong, scoring just 1:20 into the contest. Tumay netted an unlikely goal, bending a corner kick inside the far post.
Exactly 10 minutes later, Leslie Smith expanded NYU’s lead to 2-0. Erin Haggerty made a long run down the left side and played a pass back to Smith, who buried a shot to the right post.
Though the Violets’ two-goal advantage lasted to halftime, the Gothic Knights didn’t need long to tie it up in the second half. Brianna Taylor struck first just 2:53 into the second period, heading in a free kick by Devon Williams.
Three minutes later, New Jersey City knotted the score when Amanda Spethmann made a long throw into the box that took a bounce and was headed in by Jennifer Albuja.
Ahmed regained the lead for NYU just minutes later, however, and the Violets advanced to the ECAC Championship Game for the fifth time in school history. NYU is 1-3 all-time in the ECAC Championship Game, with its lone victory coming in 2001.
Hoffman finished with eight saves in goal for New Jersey City, while Meg Patten totaled two stops for the Violets. For the game, NYU held an 18-11 edge in shots and 4-3 advantage in corners.
Tumay’s assist gave her eight for the season, tying Kerry McCormick’s school record for single-season assists.