ROCHESTER - Sophomore Elin Eklund had a hat trick in regulation, and the MCC women's soccer team capitalized on an own goal just 39 seconds into the first overtime en route to a 4-3 victory over Harford Community College in Monroe's season opener Friday afternoon.
The second-ranked Tribunes (1-0-0) held a 3-1 lead before the Fighting Owls (1-1-0) responded with two second-half goals to send it to the extra session. Monroe struck quickly at the start of overtime, as Theoni Zerva controlled a throw-in and sent the ball toward the Harford goal.
An Owl defender attempted to clear, but the ball instead went toward the keeper who tried valiantly to keep it out of the net. The line judge ruled that the ball crossed the goal line, giving Monroe the exciting win.
It was a bizarre end to a back-and-forth game that saw both teams trade momentum. The Tribunes looked strong early, as Eklund scored a pair of goals to stake Monroe to a 2-0 lead.
Harford battled back, and a goal by Alexandria Adams just before the break cut the lead in half.
Eklund finished off the hat trick six and a half minutes into the second frame to push the lead back to two goals. Once again, however, the Owls had an answer.
Harford cut the lead back to one with a score in the 69th minute, and then provided the equalizer with just 1:30 left in regulation to force the extra session.
All it took was less than a minute of overtime, though, for MCC to come away with the win.