The Oglethorpe women's soccer team earned a rousing comeback victory on Sunday, scoring two goals in the second half to come back from a 1-0 deficit to beat Brevard at a hot and humid Oglethorpe Track and Field. The victory improved the Stormy Petrels to 2-0 on the season, marking the second straight year that they've won their first two games of the year.
The last time the two teams played, the Tornados defeated the Petrels 4-0 at a neutral site in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 2016, but it was a far different story on Sunday afternoon. Down 1-0 at the halftime break, the Petrels ratcheted up the pressure on the Brevard goal and saw immediate dividends. Senior forward Nicolette Andrey got all alone behind the defense in the 50th minute and was fouled hard on the edge of the box by Tornado goalkeeper Rebeccah Rojas. The referee gave Rojas a yellow card for the foul, but initially, it was ruled a free kick at the edge of the area. However, he changed the call to a penalty kick after consulting with his assistant, giving the Petrels a huge chance to equalize the score. Sophomore midfielder Maddie Cornell stepped to the spot and did just that, putting it low and to the right of Rojas to make it 1-1.
From there, both teams had periods of possession and chances to take the lead. Brevard's Aliya Vaughan hit the crossbar with a shot in the 60th minute, and Rojas had to make saves on shots by Andrey, junior forward Kayla Trice and sophomore midfielder Sam Thornton as the game wore on into the final 10 minutes.
The Petrels finally broke through in the 82nd minute. Junior midfielder Jalisa Kassam fired a shot off a free kick that was blocked by a Brevard defender, but freshman midfielder Grace Hendrerson was there for the putback and her first career goal. Kassam was credited with an assist on the play, and the Petrels had a 2-1 lead with eight minutes remaining.
They were able to kill the game off over the final five minutes, not allowing a decent chance for the Tornados to score a late equalizer. In fact, the only shot recorded after Henderson's goal was another shot by Henderson that forced a save.
Brevard had more of the run of play in the first half, outshooting the Petrels 6-2 over the first 45 minutes. They scored the opening goal in the 16th off a deflected ball in the box.
For the game, Brevard outshot the Petrels 12-9, but Oglethorpe held an 8-6 advantage in shots on goal.
Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Bolas enjoyed an outstanding game, making five saves to earn her second victory of the season. Andrey put both of her two shots on frame, as did Henderson.
The Petrels will head across town to take on Emory Thursday night at 7 p.m., then will return to the Oglethorpe Track and Field for an intrastate non-conference matchup against LaGrange Saturday at 4 p.m.