After one hundred and seven minutes of play, the GCU Women’s Soccer team had just enough energy left to propel themselves past a tough foe in Queens College. While the Lions continue to face pressure from opposing competition, certain games such as this demonstrate how this squad has gotten off to an impressive 8-3 start.
It took plenty of resilience Thursday afternoon as GCU found themselves trailing 1-0 at the 40:58 mark of the first half. It was an Erin Vernillo goal that gave the Knights the lead on a beautiful kick that sailed beyond the reach of Goal-Keeper Natalie Axelsson. From that point on, it would be an uphill battle for the Lions. However, this challenge was one they would be able to overcome.
The only goal of the second half was the one that evened the game at one goal a piece. Junior Amanda Astudillo was responsible for the goal as she converted the feed from freshman Kaitlin Lister. The goal came at the 52:53 mark.
From there, the game would go back and forth with neither team being able to win the game in regulation despite multiple scoring opportunities. I caught up with senior Morgan Peacock who explained the goal from her perspective on the field.
“All that I remember from the first goal was the ball bouncing around in the box and there were legs going in every direction. Amanda was able to get a solid hit on the ball and it touched the back of the net”.
After a ten minute first overtime period, the score remained tied at one goal a piece. It would take an additional seven more before Jessica Constantine was able to net the winning goal for the Lions.
Morgan LaDuca took the free kick that eventually made its way off the head of Constantine and into the net. That sealed the game for the Lions. It was a huge 2-1 victory that really showed the toughness of this team.
After the game, Constantine reflected on the game winning play and what it meant to fight through such an intense overtime period.
“When I saw the ball hit the back of the net, it felt amazing to contribute and reward my team with the win after working hard for almost 108 minutes. When we go deep into overtime, we always try and give that extra push to get the job done. Some teams might find it hard to push into that next gear, but we will always fight until the very end to get the job done,” Constantine explained.
“We were continuously working hard and playing with a lot of heart all game long. We were given many chances. We just had trouble finding the back of the net. I knew we would find the winning goal eventually, it was just a matter of time,” Peacock said when asked about the nature of the long game.
I also had the opportunity to catch up with one of GCU Soccer’s talented freshman in Kristen Lister. Kristen, as well as her sister Kaitlin, have both shown promising skills since joining the team in their first year with the program. Kristen had plenty to say when it came to her team stepping up and taking care of business on the field.
“As a unit, we connected very well. We attacked our opponents and dominated most of the game. The pressure from our offense helped in overtime which allowed us to get the shot that we needed to win. I’m glad that we were able to come out on top,” Lister said.
The victory was a relieving one for the Lions who were staring at a second straight tie after an 110-minute scoreless affair with Post University on October 8th. The game against Queens College marked a break in the schedule where they did not have to face CACC competition.
On Saturday, GCU will stay home to host Dominican College. GCU will be attempting to improve upon an already outstanding 4-0 record at home. It is after that game in which the Lions will then host Chestnut Hill College in their final home game before the team departs for Bronxville, NY to take on Concordia.
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