The Central Christian College women's soccer team kept their perfect season alive on Friday night, with a 2-1 win over the Presentation College Saints, but they needed overtime to do it.
The Tigers dominated the game from the opening whistle, but it was the Saints who took a 1-0 lead into the halftime intermission. The Saints goal came in the 34th minute on a turnover by the Tigers in their defensive third. The Saints took advantage of the miscue to slot the games' first goal.
In the second half, the Tigers seemed to come out and press just a little bit. This team is young, and thus far this season, they haven't had to face a lot of adversity. They had another couple of quality looks in the second frame, they just couldn't seem to find a way to score. Part of that was due to the fact that the Saints' goalkeeper had a phenomenal game between the pipes. She faced nine shots on goal by the Tigers, and stopped seven of them.
The Tigers finally caught a break in the 79th minute of the game. Kaylee Gushwa tried to play a ball in to the six-yard box, but it deflected off one of the Saints' players. The ball bounced off the defender and found the foot of De Anna Balencia. Balencia then finished what Gushwa tried to do. She played the ball across the six to the waiting foot of fellow freshman Alylssa Emery. Emery placed a right footed shot past the Saints' goalkeeper.
Ninety minutes wasn't enough to determine a winner, so the Tigers and Saints went into overtime. Overtime sessions last 10 minutes unless one of the teams scores first. Four minutes into the first overtime session, Jordan Meier found a ball on her foot around the penalty spot. She turned and then placed a ball into the bottom corner of the goal, giving her, her first career game winning goal.
Junior goalkeeper, Charis Ball, enroute to her thirdwin of the season, gave up just one goal, and came away with three saves. "A loss is often one of the best learning tools, so I feel like we dodged a bullet in learning that lesson without actually losing," said Central head coach Scott Fogarty. "As a team we continue to generate lots of chances but we're struggling to finish a majority of them. We've got to continue building on the progress we've made."
Despite the missed opportunities, Fogarty was proud of the way the team continued to fight. He said, "The ladies showed resilience to bounce back tonight and carry our momentum into overtime. I'm proud of the way we played after halftime and didn't panic. We showed more urgency without losing control of our emotions."
Now at 4-0 on the year, the Tigers will take the weekend off, but they will be right back at in Monday when they head north to Crete, Neb., to take on the Doane College Tigers. The two Tiger teams will square off on Monday at 7 pm.