|November 04, 2016||1st||2nd||1OT||2OT||Final|
|STET||70:42||METZGER, Riana (WILLIAMS, Hailey )|
|LIP||85:56||LUNDY, Ellen (ROGERS, Emily )|
|LIP||109:04||RAWLINS, Niamh (CERNICKY, Leah , BRENNER, Brooke)|
|Stats at a Glance||STET||LIP|
|Shots (on Goal)||15 (6)||18 (11)|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Lipscomb (12-4-2) women’s soccer team prevailed in overtime as junior Niamh Rawlins knocked in the game-winning goal with less than a minute to play in overtime.
Freshman Leah Cernicky sent in a corner kick as the final seconds were ticking down on the clock. After the ball bounced around in the box, it found the feet of Rawlins who placed the game-winner in the back of the net, prompting the Lady Bisons to rush the field in celebration.
The Lady Bisons rescued the game away from the jaws of defeat as junior Emily Rogers sent in a booming ball from deep that found the head of redshirt-junior Ellen Lundy. Lundy headed the ball over the hands of Stetson freshman goalkeeper Emily Plotz and into the back of the net to tie the game up with less than five minutes to play.
Stetson struck first with a goal in the 71st minute as a pair of sophomore teamed up to give the Hatters the lead. Hailey Williams and Riana Metzger set up a perfectly played give-and-go that Metzger knocked into the goal past the outstretched legs of defender Carolyn Springsteen and arms of goalkeeper Anna Buhigas.
Lipscomb nearly won the game at the end of regulation as Lundy and junior Natalie DuBoise placed two shots on frame in the waning moments of action.
What head coach Kevin O’Brien had to say:
“Well, first off, I want to say congrats to Stetson on a great year. Manoj Khettry and his staff have done an incredible job. They’re a really good team, and they return most of that team, so they’re going to be a force to reckon with next year.
“I’m incredibly proud of the girls. Obviously, going down can sometimes psychologically take a team in the wrong direction. What impresses me about our group is that they never quit. They play with so much heart. In the end, that’s kind of who we are as a team. We’re not always going to be the best soccer-playing team, but we’re going to give it everything we’ve got, and we’re never going to quick.
“Ellen’s goal was incredible. We needed it desperately. I had actually encouraged the group that you can score goals very quickly in this sport. We saw that in a couple different conference games earlier in the year. Even before the game kicked off, I said ‘hey, we might go down a goal. If we do, we just keep doing what we do.’ And that’s what they did. They never gave up; you never saw their heads go down. For me, whether we win a championship or not, they’ve got championship character, and I love them for it.
I’m just so thankful for the second goal. Niamh tore her ACL in the spring. It was really up in the air whether she was going to play this season or not. She said: coach, I’m going to do it. I’m going to rehab harder than I ever have before. And I’m going to play with the senior class that I came in with. The fact that she hadn’t scored all year, and then she scores in the conference semifinals, it means the world to her, which ultimately means the world to me.
“I’d also be remised to not say thank you to the men’s soccer team. They were incredible. I don’t know if I’ve ever experience a women’s soccer game where the crowd helped lead them to victory, and I really felt like they did tonight. The energy that they brought in overtime was phenomenal, and we’ll be out there supporting them tomorrow in their semifinal. I want to say thanks to them, and thanks to their coaches for letting them come. It means the world.”
- The Lady Bisons outshot the Hatters 18-15, with an 11-6 shots on goal advantage.
- Lundy led the way with nine shots, including four on goal, most of which came in the second half and extra time. The goal was her seventh goal of the season, tying her with freshman Olivia Doak for the team lead.
- Stetson earned seven corners to Lipscomb’s six.
- Buhigas made five saves, moving her total to 92 on the season.
- Buhigas, Springsteen, and sophomore Brooke Brenner were the only Lady Bisons to play all 109 minutes.
UP NEXT: The Lady Bisons will play the winner of tonight’s FGCU-Kennesaw State matchup on Sunday at 12 p.m.