The Canisius College women's soccer team snapped a six-game winless streak on Senior Night, as the Golden Griffins defeated Saint Peter's by the score of 3-2 in double overtime at the Demske Sports Complex on Friday evening. Junior Brianna Smith led the way for the Griffs with her first career hat trick, erasing the Peacocks' 2-0 first-half lead en route to the win. The Griffs captured their first conference victory to improve to 1-4-0 in MAAC play and 3-12-0 overall, while the Peacocks fall to 0-4-0 in league play and 1-13-0 on the season.
Smith led the Griffs' offense, accounting for close to half of the team's 28 total shots with 12 in the contest. Smith's second-half hat trick pushed her season total to nine goals for 18 points. The game winning goal was the junior's seventh of her career.
Striking in the first three minutes of the contest, Saint Peter's managed to take a 2-0 lead in the 35th minute. Despite the Griffs holding a 12-6 shot advantage over the Peacocks, the visitors took a 2-0 lead into the end of the first half.
The rest of the contest belonged to the Griffs.
Controlling possession in the second, the Griffs split the Peacocks' lead to 2-1 in the 65th minute. With sophomore Megan Mahoney attacking along the right side, the sophomore quickly stopped before feeding Smith the ball inside the six-yard box. Smith would tap in her seventh goal of the season and first of the night.
Continuing to work the ball into the Peacocks' end of the field, the Griffs would tie the contest at 2-2 in the 87th minute. Storming down the right side, senior Emily Paquette found Smith open in the middle of the field. From 20 yards out, Smith blasted home her eighth goal of the season and second of the night.
Following a scoreless opening extra period, the teams would force a second. In the extra periods, the Griffs held the Peacocks to a 6-0 shot advantage.
With time ticking down in the final overtime period, the Griffs continued to pressure the Peacocks' net. With just under three minutes remaining, junior Katie Griffin sent a through ball to Smith, who found herself alone with the Peacocks' goalkeeper. With a one-on-one chance, Smith buried the opportunity to give the Griffs a 3-2 win and their first conference win of the season.
For the first time this season, the Golden Griffins outshot an opponent. In the contest, the Griffs held a 28-9 shot advantage over the Peacocks. Besides Smith's offensive effort, junior captain Kelly McMahon set a career game-high with five shots.
The Griffs dominated in corner opportunities with 11 to the Peacocks' lone chance.
In relief of goalkeeper Megan Tock, sophomore Brigid St. Leger recorded her first career win in over 75 minutes of action with one save. Saint Peter's goalkeeper Nicole Tafrow collected seven saves in the loss.
As part of the team's Senior Night celebration, the Griffs honored seniors Brooke Bandazian, Keily Funk, and Paquette with a framed jersey.
The Blue and Gold return to the pitch on Sunday afternoon when they host MAAC opponent Manhattan at 1 p.m in the home finale at the Demske Sports Complex.
NOTES: With 28 shots, the Griffs set a season game-high... In addition, this was the first time the Griffs registered more than 25 shots since their 1-0 win over Saint Peter's on Oct. 2, 2011... Tonight's conference victory at home was the team's first since Oct. 7, 2011 when the Griffs defeated Loyola, 3-2... Smith is the first Griff to score a hat trick since Amanda Janosky's four-goal performance against Saint Peter's on Oct. 14, 2007.