NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- One season ago, en route to a national championship, the Monroe College women's soccer team faced Eastern Florida in the semifinal round, on their home pitch in Melbourne, Florida. That game ended in a scoreless draw and the Mustangs advanced on penalty kicks. The 2015 rematch was eerily similar with a slightly different outcome. After getting on the board first, the Titans later tied the game and scored the game-winner to defeat Monroe, 2-1, in double overtime.
It has become their blueprint for success, the Mustangs opened with pressure. They came out and challenged the ball and were rewarded for their persistence. At the four minute mark,Bruna Tavarez got the ball and played it into sophomore, Nicole Rivera. Rivera's shot found the back of the net and Monroe had a 1-0 lead.
The advantage lasted for nearly half an hour, before the Titans tied the score at 1-1, late in the first half. The game went into the second half even at 1-1. In the second 45, and subsequently into overtime, Florida native and sophomore, Jordan Wainwright, was a stalwart in goal for Monroe. She turned aside eight total shots to keep the Mustangs in the game.
Niether side scored in overtime and finally, in the second overtime, Eastern Florida, scored the game winner on a Julia Hernandez goal with an hour and nine minutes on the clock. For Monroe, Aline Delima took five shots. Rivera, Maia Williams and Kathellen Sousa attempted two each. Wainwright made six second-half saves and totaled eight.
The Monroe College women's soccer team finished the season with a 15-3 overall record and advanced to the national semifinal for the second-straight season. Despite the loss, the Mustangs put forth a strong effort and are still the defending champions for one more day.