DRYDEN, N.Y. – Brookhaven College came within 2 ½ minutes of winning a national championship in regulation play Sunday.
It took the Bears less than two extra minutes to break a tie in overtime and defeat top-ranked Herkimer College 2-1 in the NJCAA’s Division III title match at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
Brookhaven (14-3-1), seeded second and, like Herkimer, a first-time finalist at the national tournament, scored midway through the first half and carried its 1-0 lead through most of the match. Herkimer (18-2-0) pulled even at 87:47 when Mikayla Blumenstock, the Generals’ leading scorer from Poland, headed home a Hailey Couchman corner kick from the left side for her 36th goal of the season.
Deshae Darrell had scored unassisted in the 23rd minute for Brookhaven, one of seven colleges in Texas’ Dallas County Community College District, a group that also includes Richland College, the runner-up in the men’s Division III tournament.
Brookhaven outshot Herkimer 23-2 in regulation and won the title on its first shot in overtime with Jazmine Bustos netting the deciding goal at 91:18, just 78 seconds into a 10-minute period of sudden death play. Savanna Hernandez assisted.
The Bears put 13 of their 24 total shots on goal, and General Rachel Todd stood strong for Herkimer with 11 saves to match her season-high.
Both of the Herkimer shots were recorded in the second half, and Daniela Marin was credited with a single save for Brookhaven.
The Generals scored 99 goals this season and ranked third in the NJCAA with an average of 4.95 per match. They had scored fewer than three goals only one time, in their only previous loss at Corning Community College Sept. 24. Herkimer had won 10 consecutive matches prior to Sunday’s loss.