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Cats down Merrimack in 4-3 thriller

Brody’s last-minute strike earns UVM Women’s Soccer a season-opening win
Published: Aug. 22, 2021 at 7:27 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - After 90 minutes of nearly non-stop action, UVM sophomore Jill Brody stepped up and delivered a last-minute winner as the Cats opened the Fall 2021 campaign with a win. The 4-3 decision over Merrimack Sunday afternoon at Vitue Field gave Vermont Women’s Soccer its highest goal-scoring output in a single game since October of 2009.

Cuttingsville native Ella Bankert got the party started for the Catamounts less than two minutes in before assisting Montpelier grad Cricket Basa to put UVM up 2-0. But Merrimack responded with a pair from Hallie Shiers on either side of the halftime break to level things at 2-2.

This game went back and forth from there, with Jill Brody hammering a volley off a save to put Vermont back in front in the 58th minute, but again the Warriors would answer via Molly Murnane to even things back up.

Lydia Kessel had to make a couple spectacular saves to give her team a chance to win it late, but in the 90th minute, they did just that. Brody tracked down a deflected ball in the box, stepped by a Merrimack defender, and beat the keeper to the far post to secure the win.

“Our goal this year is beat everyone, win everything,” Brody said after the game. “I’m really really glad that we were able to start off on a high note and I know that this team can keep doing and keep winning and keep scoring so I’m excited to see what the rest of the season is gonna be like.”

“We kind of got the cushy two goal lead and then they came flying at us so we had to adjust to a couple different variables there in the game,” head coach Kristi Huizenga added. “Obviously we’re happy to have come out with four goals today, but not happy that we gave up the three. So we’ve got some work to do defensively to make sure we clean that up as we progress through our nonconference heading into our conference games.”

Vermont is next in action Thursday at Siena.

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