Women’s Soccer Edges Saint Mary’s 2-1 on Last-Second Goal by Francesca Smith
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
(written by sports information student assistant Mark DeHaan/photo by Sandy Palmatter)
Coming off two strong wins against conference opponents, the Calvin women’s soccer team was looking to continue its win streak against the visiting Belles of St. Mary’s.
Fighting back and forth in the first half, neither team was able to put the ball in the opposing team’s net, putting the game at 0-0 at halftime.
Calvin held a 13-3 shots advantage at the half, however.
Early in the second half, the Knights were able to capitalize on one of those shot opportunities as junior Francesca Smith netted her third goal in two games to put the Knights up 1-0. Less than ten minutes later, it would be the Belles who would put themselves on the board, tying up the Knights 1-1 on a redirection play.
As she had earlier in the game, Smith continued to put shots on net, forcing the Belles’ freshmen keeper to make save after save. With just under ten minutes remaining, fellow junior Liz Cancel put a shot on net that was tipped just wide by the Saint Mary’s goalie, keeping the score tied at one.
With the clock winding down, Calvin was able to win a throw-in deep in the Belles’ territory. A quick throw-in put the ball at the feet of Liz Cancel, who crossed the ball into the box. The ball was knocked around before it found the feet of freshman Sam Osterhaven who passed the ball to Francesca Smith. With just :11 left on the clock, Smith put the ball into the back of the net for her second goal of the game and provide a thrilling win for the young Knights.
The win moves the Knights to 4-5 overall and 4-1 in the MIAA, moving them up to second place in the league behind 5-1-0 Alma. Lauren Merz earned the win in net for the Knights.
“We missed a number of opportunities early on. We came out flat in the second half, but we did some subbing, found the better rhythm, and now we’ve won three games in a row,” said Head Coach Mark Recker. “This sets up the mental framework much better for our tough set of games ahead, starting on the road against Adrian. It was disappointing to give up an equalizer, but we are learning and young, and this is another positive swing forward.”
The Knights will travel to Adrian on Saturday to play the Bulldogs at noon. Adrian and Calvin are tied for second place in the MIAA standings.
MIAA WOMEN’S SOCCER STANDINGS THROUGH 9-28-11
Saint Mary’s 2-3-0