Oct. 26, 2007
Add another page to a history making season.
Friday night in Jacksonville the Lady Bisons came from behind to beat North Florida 2-1. It was the first time in their five seasons in the conference that the Lady Bisons have won an Atlantic Sun road game.
"We were very prepared," said first-year Lipscomb coach Jon Ireland. "We were focused. They seemed a little flat. All week long we had watched film. We knew exactly what we wanted to do and how we wanted to play against them and we did it."
Ireland found it difficult to contain his enthusiasm. North Florida entered the game with a 5-3 conference record.
"This is the biggest win in the history of our program," Ireland said. "If you look at our previous wins I don't think we have beaten a team at that level before.
"There have been so many firsts this year. We have won two games in the conference. We have tied a conference game. And we have won four games which ties the highest total in wins in a season."
The Lady Bisons spotted North Florida a 1-0 lead on a goal by Elizabeth Gowan at 19:21.
"Sasha shot the ball and it was deflected," Ireland said. "It bounced over them and Halie came in for a one-on-one and kicked it over the goalkeeper's head from about 12 yards out. The ball was bouncing and the keeper was coming out to get it. Halie got their first.
"We had played really well in the first half. Halie's goal gave us a lot of momentum."
Freshman midfielder Kate Spellman scored the game winner at the 84:06 mark of the second half. Proffitt earned the assist.
"It was off of a cross," Ireland said. "Kate turned and hit it in the goal from eight yards out."
They were the only two shots on goal recorded by the Lady Bisons.
Proffitt leads the Lady Bisons in most offensive categories. Ireland stresses that she is only going to get better.
"Halie has a ton to learn, but that is a good thing," Ireland said. "She can get so much better. If you give her enough touches around the goal she is definitely going to make something happen."
Junior goalkeeper Katie Shelton put in another solid performance with eight saves. North Florida out shot the Lady Bisons 18-4 and held a 9-2 edge in shots on goal.
"It was a lot closer than those numbers," Ireland said. "There were shots from way out that were counted as shots on goal. It was not like they were pounding and pounding at us."
Ireland thought the Lady Bisons might find themselves in another overtime situation, but he was determined that he was not going to let that happen.
"I made a decision to play for a win," Ireland said. "North Florida started pushing everyone forward with the game tied 1-1. You could tell they were trying to win, too.
"I decided instead of playing defensively and trying to drop people back to guard all of their players that we would stay with our same formation. I wanted to try to win the game. If we lost it, we lost it, but I didn't want a tie. And we won."
Ireland was most pleased that his Lady Bisons fought back after being behind early.
"Being down a goal and beating a team on that level on the road was the biggest thing," Ireland said. "North Florida was in shock.
"It is a credit to our players because they just keep working and working. The progress they have made from the beginning of the year until now is incredible."
The Lady Bisons are 4-12-1, 2-6-1 in the A-Sun. North Florida is 6-10-1, 5-4-0 in the conference.