by Benny Benton
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Barton College freshman Katie Christiansen made her first collegiate goal a memorable one, scoring the game-winner on Saturday in a 3-2 overtime victory at Converse College.
The golden goal, which came three minutes into the first extra period, gave the Lady Bulldogs (1-3, 1-0) a road win in their Conference Carolinas opener against the team picked fourth in the preseason coaches' poll.
Barton accounted for all three shots taken in the overtime period. The first one, attempted by junior Taylor Doeble, was cleared off the line at the last second by the Converse defense. However, just over 30 seconds later, BC freshman Brianna Boyd fired a shot which Valkyries keeper Josee Waitrovich deflected. Christiansen collected the rebound and scored on the follow-up shot just inside the near post.
The Valkyries (1-2-1, 0-1) had forced the extra session after scoring with just under six minutes to play on a through-ball from Emily Barry to Sara Dorsett, who put the ball away for her third goal of the year.
Converse made a strong offensive push through the latter part of the first half, but Barton's freshman keeper, Megan Bolick, collected five of her seven saves in the first half to keep the Valkyries at bay.
Just 1:11 into the second period, Barton extended its lead to 2-0 when Doeble drove the middle of the field on a breakaway and chipped the ball over the head of Waitrovich into the net for her second goal in as many games.
The Valkyries cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 57th minute when Cassidy Marshall served a free kick from the left side into the box that was deflected by teammate Nicole Doolittle to Aidyn Cantor, who pushed the ball past BC reserve keeper Haley Sauls.
Converse continued to press for the equalizer, eventually finding it on Dorsett's goal against Bolick with 5:59 to go.
Although the Valkyries enjoyed a 25 to 15 advantage in total shots, Barton held a slim 12-11 edge in attempts on goal. Waitrovich matched Bolick with seven saves in the contest.
Barton will begin a stretch of four straight home matches on Wednesday with a non-conference matchup against Chowan University. The contest is slated for a 6 p.m. start at the Barton Outdoor Athletics Complex.