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Women's Soccer: Warriors Tie

 Freshman Nicole Leonard's first collegiate goal gives Warriors equalizer

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merhebJ 671.jpgPURCHASE, N.Y. - The Eastern Connecticut State University and Montclair State University women's soccer programs don't meet very often, but when they do, the matches is an evenly-contest event. Saturday was no exception.

At left, Jo-Ann Merheb moves the ball against Katie Minervini of Montclair Saturday. (Liz Cutler photo)

In the first game of the Manhattanville College Valiant Classic at GoValiants.com Field, the No. 8-ranked team in New England benefited from freshman forward Nicole Leonard's (Rutherford, NJ) first career goal to 12 minutes into the second half to forge a 1-1 overtime tie with the Red Hawks in only the second meeting  between the programs in the last 16 years. In five matches in the all-time series which began in 1992, the Warriors hold a 2-1-2 advantage, with three of the last four extending into overtime.

Saturday, Montclair (1-2-2) scored on a double-header in the 16th minute before Eastern (2-0-1) finally gained the equalizer when Leonard put away a loose ball in front of the net early in the second half.  On the scoring play, Allison Wacker headed a cross from Nicole Anulewicz toward teammate Alyssa Diacheysn, who headed it into the goal.

Neither team could break the tie in 30 minutes of overtime.

The goal is the first this year for Eastern by a newcomer, with Leonard coming off the bench to collect her first collegiate goal.

Sophomore keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) made three saves to preserve the tie. In her first season as a starter, MacLeod has a 0.60 goals-against average and .818 save percentage while playing all 300 minutes.

Eastern faces Vassar College (3-0-0) Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in its second tournament match. The Brewers scored twice in the second half on headers off corner kicks on the way to a 3-1 victory over host Manhattanville College (0-4-0) Saturday.The Valiants are under the direction of former Eastern head women's soccer coach Matt Paton.

Eastern Conn. 1, Montclair State U. 1, 2 ot

Eastern Conn. (2-0-1)      0    1    (0)    (0) -- 1
Montclair State (1-2-2)     1    0    (0)    (0) -- 1

Scoring: M-Alyssa Diacheysn (Allison Wacker, Nicole Anulewicz) 15:36; E-Nicole Leonard 57:00.
Shots: E-11, M-8; Saves: E-Mackenzie MacLeod 3, M-Marisa Zayac 4. Corner kicks: E-3, M-6.