NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Southern Vermont College head coach Michael Zauzig became the all-time wins leader for the school's women's soccer program Tuesday night as the visiting Mountaineers defeated Mass. College of Liberal Arts 2-1 in overtime at Shewcraft Field.
Torrential downpours during the day made for the Trailblazers' turf to have standing water on parts of the pitch, and the slow field conditions restricted both sides from getting too many quality opportunities. The Mountaineers conceded a goal in the 70th minute for MCLA to break the scoreless stalemate, but SVC didn't lose hope and eventually knotted it at 1-1 with 9:31 left in regulation.
Southern Vermont controlled the overtime period—outshooting the hosts 7-0. The final take was the difference maker as junior Taylor Mallett (Berwick, Maine) toed in her second goal of the year with 20.4 ticks on the clock for the Mountaineers to celebrate in the rain and help their coach break the program record.
After losing four-straight matches earlier in the month, the Mountaineers are now 2-0-1 in their last three games heading into the bulk of their New England Collegiate Conference schedule. Southern Vermont (2-4-2 overall) is next in action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. league contest against Newbury College—that match serving as SVC's Senior Day with the Mountaineers honoring their departing team members prior to kickoff.
The win was Zauzig's 61st of his eight-year career—helping him surpass SVC/Saint Joseph College Hall of Fame member Scott McKenzie who led the program from 1992-99. Coincidentally, while Zauzig was making Southern Vermont history, McKenzie was busy beating a different SVC as his Juniata College women's soccer squad downed Saint Vincent College by its own 2-1 tally.
"I'm thrilled with the terrific progress that Coach Zauzig makes with his teams year-after-year, and I'm glad he surpassed me," McKenzie said. "He is a remarkable young coach; I'm so proud that he continues to put his players first, and that's what keeps his teams winning. The SVC women's soccer program still means the world to me, and I'm so happy to see the team succeed. A big 'well done' to Michael."
After a slow first half in which both teams found that playing the ball on the ground would be cumbersome, the two sides began to make adjustments and account for the sloppy conditions. Finally, MCLA broke through to the scoreboard when a strike from the top of the box caromed into the back of the net with 20:17 left to play.
Southern Vermont pushed to get the equalizer and had a pair of point-blank takes denied by the Trailblazer keeper. The Mountaineers persisted, however, and got the game-tying goal to go in the 81st minute. Freshman Kaidin Gauthier (Bennington, Vt.) crossed it in from the right, and junior Danielle Biggers (Broadalbin, N.Y.) knocked home her third goal of the year to even the score.
MCLA took the only shot on goal in the remainder of regulation, but SVC junior netminder Taylor Jarosz (Troy, N.Y.) was there to preserve the tie and send the Mountaineers to overtime for the third time this season.
Southern Vermont put four shots on frame in the first 8:39 of overtime to no avail as those attempts were all saved by the MCLA goalie. With time winding down and the second extra session looming, however, Biggers sent in a pass that Mallett got on the end of—her play making the ball trickle over the line for the fifth game winner of her career.
Jarosz totaled seven saves in net during the victory (2-3-1).
– #LetsGoSVC –