O’Brien Provides Late Magic In Season Opener

Junior captain Callie O'Brien.
Junior captain Callie O'Brien.

ALBANY, N.Y.—The Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) women's soccer program jumped in the win column in its first game of the season at non-conference United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) opponent Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) on Sunday, Sept. 1.

Albany entered the contest 0-0-1, coming off a 1-1 draw to Johnson & Wales University- Charlotte the day prior. Both Albany and SMCC traded scoring opportunities in the first half without result.

The game held scoreless until the 87th minute when junior captain Callie O'Brien (South Portland, Maine) got in behind the Panther back-four on a through ball from junior captain Ryleigh Lord (Pittsfield, Maine). Albany's keeper Gabbie Evangelista did well to make a save on O'Brien's first attempt but deflected the ball in the direction of the crashing forward who finished the second-chance opportunity.

First-year goalkeeper Calley Baker (Jay, Maine) recorded five saves to pitch a shutout in her first collegiate start to help her team to a 1-0 start and first program win against ACPHS on the road.

Head Coach Ethan Wells reflected, "A win on the road against an always-talented Albany team is a huge result to begin our season. What is not listed in the box score is the effort sophomore Katelin Bennett gave us from the wing midfield position. Defensively we were tough and remained organized aided by leadership from sophomore captains Brenna Frye and Paige Lord. I was proud to see the work we put in during preseason pay off— I know this is special group."

The action continues with a two-game home stand this weekend beginning with first-year program Bryant & Stratton College- Albany on Saturday, Sept. 7  at 1 p.m. and Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) opponent Vermont Technical College on Sunday at 12 p.m. LIVE STATS available HERE.

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