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Castleton Spartans

Nichols Nets Overtime Game-Winner for Women's Soccer over Norwich

Nichols Nets Overtime Game-Winner for Women's Soccer over Norwich

CASTLETON, Vt. – Junior Rylee Nichols scored with 15 seconds remaining in the first overtime period to lift the Castleton University women's soccer team over Norwich, 1-0.

Nichols took a diagonal pass from junior Julia Carone in the box before taking a couple steps and blowing a right-footed shot past the Cadet goalkeeper, Kim Watt, for the winner.

Castleton was in control for the majority of the contest and walked away with a 33-4 edge in shots. The Spartans hit three cross bars and Watt made 15 saves to push the otherwise lopsided game tied into extra time.

The Spartans continued to apply pressure in overtime. Watt made a big save on freshman Tatum Shappy to keep the contest going 2:23 into the extra frame, but the relentless pressure finally cracked the Cadet defense.

Makenzi Bellando nearly put Castleton on top in the first half when she deflected a header off the cross bar at the 28:19 mark. Bellando had 12 shots on the afternoon with five on target. With 9:15 remaining in the opening period, Shappy fired a long twisting shot from 24 yards that banged off the bar. Shappy finished with seven shots and four shots on goal. Nichols had a near-miss in Castleton's third pipe shot of the evening at 73:28. 

Watt also fended off several short breakaway chances for the Spartans with a slew of solid stands.

Loren Henderson earned the shutout and first win of the season in goal for Castleton. She saw just two shots and collected them both without incident. 

The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, September 4 as it will be the host team to Westfield State at Applejack Field in Manchester, Vt. at 7 p.m.