On Tuesday, Sept. 19, Colby women’s Soccer faced the #19 ranked University of Hartford Hawks, coming away with an exciting victory following a dramatic goal in the final minutes. The Mules entered the game with a 1-3 record after opening their season with a win over Husson, while the Hawks entered at 4-1 with wins over #14 Emory and #17 Montclair State, as well as a narrow 2-1 loss to Division I Merrimack College.
The Hawks are playing their first season at the Division III level after nearly 40 years in the Division I America East Conference. In 2021, Hartford’s Board of Regents voted to reclassify their athletic programs to Division III, with many of their recruited players remaining on athletic scholarships through the end of this academic year.
Despite this, the Mules rose to the occasion and competed for a complete 90 minutes in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The Mules came out of the gates quickly, as first-year Madison Genser put a shot on goal within the first two minutes. Hartford responded shortly after with an attempt on goal of their own, but it was saved by Colby’s sophomore goaltender MK Marshall `26. Hartford kept the pressure on, shooting five more times in the half and forcing Marshall to make two more saves. The Mules made five substitutions in the 22nd minute, but Hartford responded well, finally finding their way past Marshall with Rebbeca Obdenbrouw’s shot in the 36th minute. The Mules had several opportunities, including a pair of corner kicks, but could not manage a score before the half.
Colby made another set of substitutions at the beginning of the second half, bringing on Jackie Portogallo `24 and Elo Luczkow `27. Sophomore Sophia DiGrande had the first shot on goal of the second half in the 51st minute, but it was turned away by Hartford’s goaltender Sejal Johnson. The Mules dominated the ball in the second half, and had two more attempts on goal in the next four minutes. After making six more substitutions in the 82nd minute, the Mules finally scored, as DiGrande scored off of a free kick. With a draw secured, the Mules did not let up, as Fati Salifu `26 ripped a left-footed shot from outside of the box in the final second of the 89th minute. The shot hit the crossbar and went in, prompting a loud celebration from the Mules bench and the fans gathered at Serdjenian Field. The Hawks did not have enough time remaining to mount their own attack, and the referee blew the final whistle on a 2-1 Mules victory.
Colby looks forward to a weekend doubleheader in Massachusetts with contests against Williams and Amherst on the 23rd and 24th, before returning to Waterville to face Tufts on the 30th. Meanwhile, the Hawks continue their inaugural Division III season in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with matches against Gordon College and Suffolk University.
~ Matt Quealy `26