The Johnson & Wales Women's Soccer team (6-4, 3-2 TSC) netted the game-winning goal in the 109th minute in overtime against Florida Memorial (1-6, 0-5 TSC) in a Sun Conference showdown.
It didn't take long for the Wildcats to open up the scoring as the 15th minute marked the first goal in the score sheet. A cross from Desiree Rudnick into the box took a ricochet off the goalkeeper. The ball went in the direction of Soleil Duplain who fed a beautiful pass to Savannah Jackson. A chipped header over the keeper secured the opening lead for JWU.
As the half was coming to a close, FMU jumped on an opportunity to net a goal. As the ball was shot by the opposition, Chelsie Randolph made a timely save. A deflection from the save had the ball land at the feet of a Florida Memorial attacker who scored the tying goal seconds before the half.
After the first half, the match grew in intensity. A torrential downpour throughout the second half made this match difficult for both squads. A scoreless draw in regulation meant this match was headed to overtime.
The first OT resulted in a tie which forced the second over time. Little did anyone know that this overtime half would be the setting to an amazing goal to close out the conference match with a win in favor of Johnson & Wales.
With the minutes winding down in the second overtime, striker Jackson received a pass from Caterina Yibirin. A through ball down the middle would leave the striker alone for a rip to the left side of the net to end the match in the 109th minute.
Leading the way offensively for JWU was Jackson with five shots in the match, four of them on goal, as she scored twice, for her 10th and 11th on the season.
Starting goalkeeper Randolph would only allow one past her as she registered an incredible 11 saves on the day.
"I am extremely proud of this group for really pushing to find the game winner," commented Head Coach Eric Dobrzanski. "We were very poor in the first half, effort wise, and I give a lot of credit to FMU and their Head Coach Maria Mora, they did a fantastic job and really pushed us to have to fight and improve throughout the game. Our second half was much better and we began to at least contest a lot of the first and second balls, and that allowed us to create some dangerous chances in transition. Overall, I am just very excited for this team, they battled and got what they said they wanted, which was to be 1-0 today, they are taking one game at a time. Our captain's Sydney Smedley and Desiree Rudnick did a great job getting everyone back on track in the second half. Just proud of our effort and our ability to bounce back from a poor first half."
The Lady Wildcats will be at home against SCAD (7-4-1, TSC 2-2) this Saturday, Oct. 7th at 1pm.