Pioneers Win ECAC Women's Soccer Title, 2-1 in Overtime

courtesy of William Paterson Athletics

NEWARK, N.J. - Freshman Michelle Marabondo (Kenvil, N.J./Roxbury) provided the game-winning goal for the second straight day for the Pioneers, this one 5:39 into overtime, as second-seeded William Paterson (13-7-3) defeated top-seeded NYU (10-8-1), 2-1, to win the 2009 ECAC Women's Soccer Metro Region Tournament title Nov. 15 at NJIT's Lubetkin Field.

Marabondo, who scored both goals for WP against the Violets, was named the ECAC Metro Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. The freshman forward had a hat trick during a 4-0 first-round victory against Old Westbury Nov. 11, and scored the game winner with 33 seconds remaining in regulation for a 2-1 semifinal victory against third-seeded New Jersey City Nov. 14.

The victory gave William Paterson its first-ever ECAC crown, and its first postseason title since winning the 1998 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Tournament. It also avenged a 2-1 loss the Pioneers suffered to NYU earlier this season on Oct. 7.

NYU was the aggressor during the opening moments of the match, but William Paterson settled in and quickly evened up the play as each team created several opportunities. Marabondo was able to create the best chance of the first half when she streaked up the left flank in the 40th minute and dodged several Violet defenders, cutting across the field and into the box. She then launched a shot that beat NYU starting keeper Rachael Ross to the far side of the frame from 16 yards out, giving WP the 1-0 lead.

William Paterson and NYU continued to battle, but it was the Violets who would strike next when Filiz Kipcakli sent a cross from the right end line that Lucy Dolly Caires was able to get a head on and send past senior Meaghan Baker (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls), evening the contest at 1-1 in the 60th minute of play.

Baker, who finished with three saves, had her biggest play of the afternoon when she denied Rebecca Assing 1v1 during the opening moments of the overtime period. That save kept the Pioneers alive, and just moments later Marabondo rifled a shot inside the box that NYU goalkeeper Alex Walters was able to keep out of the net, but Marabondo got to the loose ball first and knocked it over Walters and across the goal line to end the match.

William Paterson finished with a 16-11 edge in shots, including a 10-4 advantage after halftime. Each side took six corner kicks.