“This is definitely one of the hardest losses I’ve ever been a part of,” said head coach Jon Ireland. “We dominated the first half and deserved to win. It’s a real heartbreaker; a lot of the girls were in tears when it was over.”
Lipscomb got on the board early via freshman Bayley Linnell’s first career goal in the 15th minute. Linnell stole the ball away and beat Mississippi State’s Skylar Rosson for the early goal.
“After going up early, we really had them under pressure,” said Ireland. “We defended more in the second half, but we just couldn’t hold on.”
After going up early, Lipscomb had to fight to keep their advantage over an increasingly aggressive Mississippi State team. The Bulldogs more than doubled the Lady Bisons totals in shots (23-8 advantage) and shots on goal (11-4) throughout the game.
The goalkeeping of junior Erin Zerio kept the Lady Bisons in the match. Zerio made a season-high nine saves against Mississippi State, turning away seven in the second half alone.
The 10th shot the Bulldogs put on goal was the first that finally got past Zerio, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time. In the final minute of regulation, Jasmine Simmons took a pass from Shannen Jainudeen and lofted it over the defense, beating the keeper to the left post and tying the game at one with less than 30 seconds to play in regulation.
“It’s tough,” said Ireland. “We were one clear away from taking down an SEC school. And after that goal, they had all the momentum heading in to overtime.”
Junior Katie Wood got a shot away before the end of regulation, but it was to no avail and the game went into extra time.
Two minutes into overtime, the Bulldogs would put away the game-winner off the foot of Tarah Henderson. The senior took a cross on the ground and one-timed it past Zerio for the winner.
Five Lady Bisons (Kelsey Reiman, Martika Powe, Kirsten Heikkinen, Stephanie Romero and Brittany Rupple) played the entire game. Powe and Heikkinen both picked up yellow cards on the day.
Zerio, Reiman and senior Meghan McGuire were named to the Bulldog Classic All-Tournament team. McGuire scored twice in Lipscomb’s 3-1 victory over Southern Miss, Friday.
“We have to have a short memory,” said Ireland. “We don’t want moral victories, we want wins. I hope everyone is frustrated; we should have won this game.”
Lipscomb will host Austin Peay, Thursday, at 4:30 p.m. on the practice field behind Cofer’s Chapel Church.