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MIAMI SHORES, Fla. (November 9, 2019) – It took overtime, but the Johnson & Wales (Fla.) women's soccer team (12-4-1) advanced to the Sun Conference Semifinals thanks to junior Savannah Jackson's ninth hat trick of the season as the Wildcats defeated the Thomas Night Hawks (9-9-2), 3-2 (OT), on Saturday afternoon.
The 2019 Sun Conference Player of the Year netted her 44th goal of the season with time winding down in the first overtime period. After drawing a yellow-card foul with three seconds left on a stopped clock, Jackson ripped a free kick from just outside the area past TU goalkeeper Jordin Sanchez. The "golden goal" was Jackson's nation-leading 11th game-winner of the season.
The goal in the 100th minute gave JWU its 12th win of the season (school-record) and propelled the team to its second-straight TSC Semifinals.
The native of Winter Haven, Florida, got the Wildcats on the board in the 49th minute after receiving a beautiful pass from sophomore Brianna Pineiro. Her pass got Jackson behind the Night Hawk defense with just the keeper to beat. Jackson slotted a shot to the back of the net for her first goal of the game (42nd of season). For Pineiro it was her fourth assist of the 2019 season.
Jackson extended the Wildcat lead in the 60th minute with her second goal of the match. Freshman Karla Vargas recorded the first assist of her JWU career, finding Jackson down the right side of the field. Jackson buried her shot to make the score, 2-0.
However, Thomas battled back, scoring it first goal of the game in the 62nd minute and posting the equalizer in the 83rd minute.
Both teams had their chances in the remaining seven minutes of the match but neither could pull ahead as the contest went to overtime.
In overtime, neither team had the clear-cut advantage until Jackson's game-winning free kick in the 100th minute.
Freshman Denise Mendoza (12-4-1) earned her school-record 12th win of the season, registering 11 saves versus TU.
The Night Hawks held a decisive edge in total shots, 29-15, and registered 13 shots on goal to five for the Wildcats.
With the victory, JWU will turn its attention to the No. 4-ranked Southeastern Fire in a rematch of last year's TSC Semifinal match. This year's contest will take place on Tuesday, November 12. Game time is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
Follow women's soccer (@JWUWSoccerNM) and all of JWU's 11 athletic teams on Twitter (@JWUAthleticsNM), YouTube (JWUAthletics), and Instagram (theWildcatWay).
About JWU Athletics: JWU Athletics is home to more than 150 student-athletes in 11 different sports. Established in 1998, JWU Athletics is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Sun Conference. Athletic events are held the Wildcat Center and the Miami Shores Recreation Complex (9825 NE 7th Ave., Miami Shores, FL 33138).
About JWU: Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with approximately 13,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth. The university's impact is global, with alumni from 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit jwu.edu.
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