Women's soccer falls to Birmingham-Southern in extra-time heartbreaker

Women's soccer falls to Birmingham-Southern in extra-time heartbreaker

The Oglethorpe women's soccer team played an outstanding 80 minutes Friday afternoon against the Birmingham-Southern Panthers at the Oglethorpe Track and Field, coming back from a 1-0 halftime deficit and earning a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes to go. It all came apart for the Stormy Petrels in the final minutes and in extra time, though, as they allowed a goal with less than two minutes left and then another in the second extra frame and fell 4-3. The result dropped the team to 8-4 on the season overall and 0-3 in SAA play.

Up 3-2 with just minutes left, Oglethorpe looked to hang onto their lead and pick up their first conference win of the season. However, the Panthers tallied a game-tying goal in the 89th minute, with just over 1:30 remaining, and the score was 3-3 headed into extra time. Neither team scored in the opening 10 minutes of golden-goal play, but Birmingham-Southern found their game-winner in the 102nd minute, just over a minute into the second extra-time period, and came away with a 4-3 win.

Despite carrying the fight to their opponent for the entire first half, Oglethorpe found themselves down 1-0 at the halftime break. The Petrels continued to press into the attacking third, though, and were rewarded in the 55th minute. Freshman defender Sara McDade played a corner kick along the ground to sophomore midfielder Lauren Kirby near the top of the box. Kirby hit a looping shot that evaded Panther goalkeeper Blakley Jones and tied the score at 1-1. That seemed to energize Oglethorpe even more, as they continued to push forward and found another goal before long. Freshman forward Meagan Thacker fired a long shot from over 20 yards out that Jones had to save off the crossbar. The rebound fell to junior midfielder Ana Shults, who slotted the ball past Jones to give the Petrels a 2-1 lead.

Birmingham-Southern struck back in the 73rd minute and tied the score again, but the Petrels had another answer. Kirby played a ball into the box for Trice, but a Panther defender got there first. Trice put her under tremendous pressure, though, blocking her clearance attempt. Trice gained possession of the ball off of that and finished low and to the left of Jones to give Oglethorpe their one-goal lead back.

The Panthers scored the opening goal 24 minutes into the contest, but it was Oglethorpe who carried much of the action over the opening 45 minutes of play. The Petrels outshot Birmingham-Southern 9-2 in the first half, but it was the visitors taking a lead into halftime.

Oglethorpe outshot their opponent 20-16 for the game, including an 8-7 mark in shots on goal. 

The Petrels will have to recover quickly, as they turn around and face Millsaps on the Oglethorpe Track and Field Sunday at 1 p.m. After that, they'll hit the road to go against Rhodes and Hendrix next weekend.

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