The Chatham women's soccer team battled its way back from an early two-goal deficit to tie Parsippany 3-3 on the road Wednesday.
"I think that we finished great," Chatham head coach Tracey Blanchard said. "I wish that we could have played that way the whole entire game, We need to start better."
The game marks the first time this season the Cougars have come back from a halftime deficit, and the second time Chatham and Parsippany have played into double overtime.
The Cougars found themselves down by goal with mere minutes remaining in regulation when Ellie Goepel earned a penalty kick. Her shot deflected off of the goalkeeper and went into a scrum where Liz Hyde got an outstretched leg on it to drive it home to tie the game.
"It shows that they have guts, that they can come out there and get the job done," Blanchard said.
Chatham struggled during the first 10 minutes of the game as Parsippany (7-3-2) struck first with a goal at the 4:12 mark from Melissa Kelly. Kelly added her second off of a corner kick at 6:07.
Sensing the game was getting away, Goepel showed off her leadership and ball-handling skills with a deke around the goalkeeper at the 22:45 mark to cut the deficit to 2-1.
"After I scored, it helped us get our intensity back up," Goepel said.
The second half began with the Cougars, much like the first half, struggling to get their legs under them in the early minutes. Eventually Parsippany broke free and Samantha Pignatelli scored to give them a 3-1 lead.
Chatham's Maggie Higgins answered by driving a kick from roughly 36 yards out, arcing it over the outstretched hand of a diving Parsippany goalie to make it 3-2 at the 22:00 mark.
"We had a lot of momentum after we scored our second goal," Higgins said.
The Cougars rode that momentum to forge the tie, but neither team was able to break the stalemate in the two overtime periods.
Despite being one of the top teams in the conference, Blanchard is constantly working on improving the team as a whole. "We need to anticipate our runs more and play to the feet more," Blanchard said.
The Cougars next face Pequannock Township High School in a home game on Friday at 6 p.m., part of Cougar Weekend.