HENNIKER, N.H.—Junior midfielder Brooke Falsion (Brockport, N.Y./Brockport) scored in the 83rd minute to lift the SUNY Potsdam women's soccer team (3-1) to a 2-1 victory over New England College in the first round of NEC's tournament. Junior midfielder Rachael Venne (Ellenburg Depot, N.Y./Northern Adirondack) also scored for the Bears and freshman goalkeeper Gabby Hobika (New Hartford, N.Y./New Hartford) made four saves for her second career victory.
The Bears controlled the play in the first half, outshooting the Pilgrims 9-5 and forcing four corner kicks. The pressure paid off in the 38th minute. Potsdam launched a corner into the box at 37:06 and Venne fought off several defenders before depositing the ball in the net. The score was unchanged at the half.
NEC battled back in the second half, building a 13-7 advantage in shots in the final 45 minutes. At 50:11, Emily LePage knocked a corner past Hobika to even the score. The Bears' defense and Hobika held the rest of the way. At the 82:18 mark, Falsion headed home a cross from junior midfielder Rylie Murray (Berkley, Mich./Berkley) for the game-winning goal. With one second on the clock, Hobika snubbed Nicole Citrone to preserve the victory.
Kayla Pugliese made three saves in goal for NEC. The Pilgrims edged the Bears in shots 18-16 and the teams finished even at four corners apiece.
Potsdam is back in action tomorrow at noon when they square off with Montclair State in the second round of the tourney.