BURLINGTON, Vt. -
Freshman Sarah Martin's first career collegiate goal proved to be a game-winner as she lifted the Vermont Catamounts past the visiting Central Connecticut Blue Devils, 3-2 in double overtime, at Virtue Field on Friday in the first day of action of the TD Bank Classic. Central Connecticut came back from two one-goal deficits to force the extra time in the season opener for both teams.
The Catamounts took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute when sophomore Nikki McFarland, last season's America East Rookie of the Year, knocked in a corner kick from freshmanTaylor Palmer. The Blue Devils evened the score 48 seconds later. Cailynn Harding's free kick from just over midfield found Charlie Branch's feet. Branch's touch over the UVM defense took a bounce and was misjudged by Vermont goalkeeper Ally Ramos and found the back of the net to tie the score up at 1-1.
Vermont regained the lead in the 12th minute. Dana Buckhorn made a short pass to Caroline Greer at the top of the box and Greer buried the long distance shot to put the Catamounts back in front 2-1. UVM would take the 2-1 lead into halftime, but in the 53rd minute Central Connecticut tallied another equalizer. Tori Sousa sent a long thru pass behind the Vermont defense. Kacie O'Neill was able to run onto the ball for a breakaway and slotted a low shot past Ramos to knot the game up 2-2. After a scoreless first overtime period, Martin, who had drilled the crossbar earlier in the game, scored the game-winner off a scramble in front of the net. McFarland was able to poke a pass to Martin's feet and she was able to finish off the scoring opportunity.
Ramos finished the day with six saves in the Vermont net, while Nikki Turley made three stops for Central Connecticut. Vermont opens the season at 1-0, while Central Connecticut drops to 0-1 to start the year. Both teams will be back in action Sunday when the TD Bank Classic resumes at Virtue Field. The Blue Devils face New Hampshire at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the Catamounts taking on Youngstown State at 1:30 p.m.