NASHVILLE – The number two seed Lipscomb women’s soccer team won 1-0 against the sixth-seeded NJIT Highlanders in Sunday afternoon’s thrilling ASUN Tournament semifinal.
The Bisons attacked their opponent’s goal early and often, earning a corner kick within 30 seconds of the opening kickoff and putting a shot on target in the third minute.
NJIT responded with a promising attack in the sixth minute that earned them a corner, but it failed to trouble Lipscomb’s junior goalkeeper, Melissa Gray.
From there, both teams battled for possession between the 20th and 25th minute marks, but neither side created many attacking opportunities.
Lipscomb dominated the attacking chances for the remainder of the half, but the Highlanders defense held strong and forced a 0-0 draw at the half.
The second half started uneventfully, with neither side able to carve out any clear-cut opportunities in the first ten minutes.
The two teams continued to fight for possession and endured a period of few attacking chances.
Near the 70th minute, Lipscomb put a pair of crosses in front of goal, but Saylor covered both opportunities and kept the Bisons off the board.
Lipscomb earned three corners in the next three minutes, but none of them earned the Bisons a goal.
With three minutes to go, Danielle Van Liere scored a dramatic match-winner, putting her close-range shot in the roof of the net where it was impossible to stop. Redshirt-senior Maycie McKay provided the assist to give the Bisons the victory.
"The reality was that we were creating the chances, which is good, but we just weren't capitalizng on them," head coach Kevin O'Brien said. "Thankfully it finally opened-up and Maycie McKay showed unbelievable composure and Danielle Van Liere, who's been a really great addition to the program and is as smart as anyone we've got, was in the right spot and was able to put it away.
"In the end, as a coach, that's the only thing you can ask for," O'Brien continued. "The only thing you can ask for when its this time of year in the one-and-done scenarios is just to find a way. It wasn't the prettiest soccer we've played, but they still found a way and for that I'm really proud of them."
- Van Liere's goal was her first of the season
- McKay's asssist was her seventh of the year, which is the most on the team
- The Bisons defense didn't allow a shot in the first half
- Lipscomb outshot NJIT 15-2, with a 7-1 shots-on-goal advantage
- The Purple and Gold earned six corner kicks to the Highlanders one
With the win, Lipscomb earns a spot in the ASUN Conference Final. They host Kennesaw State on Saturday, November 9 at 7 p.m. after the Owls took down top-ranked FGCU.