by Josh Decker
The Cedarville Lady Jackets pulled out a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory against visiting the Lake Erie College Storm Thursday night in a hard-fought game. With the win, the Jackets’ improve their record to 3-2-1 overall and 3-0 in the G-MAC.
Freshman Addie Erslan sent a great shot screeching past Lake Erie goalkeeper Megan Biddell to secure the result for the Lady Jackets in the 98th minute. Junior Mary Kate Wyer, who had three shots on goal in the match and kept continued pressure on the Lake Erie defenders all night, assisted on the game-winning goal.
“I think in this game, our team did a good job of keeping the ball and just moving for each other,” said Wyer. “We were able to split their defense and find lots of shots.”
The Lady Jackets outshot the visitors by a margin of 24-7, though the score reflects a much closer game.
Both teams started off conservative in play style, feeling each other out. After the initial few minutes of the game had eclipsed, Cedarville started to gain momentum and attacked the final third of the pitch well.
In the 14th minute, Wyer dished a beautiful pass to freshman Payton Fraley, who sent the ball just above the goalpost and the goalkeeper’s outstretched hands.
Continued offensive pressure from the Lady Jackets forced Lake Erie to concede a couple corner kicks and some quality chances on goal, but Storm goalkeeper Megan Biddell stood strong in net.
As the first half wound down, the Jackets again had a goalscoring opportunity, as the forwards got in and behind the Lake Erie defense, but despite a flurry of shot attempts, the score remained 0-0 going into the break.
The Lady Jackets came out in the second half with a renewed sense of energy, and it showed in the 51st minute when junior Anna Burkhead fed the ball to Wyer. Wyer had a great look on goal, but Lake Erie’s goalkeeper made the save yet again.
With 19 minutes remaining, sophomore Lisi Williamson got a great look on goal, but the ball struck the post and remained out of the back of the net.
Then with only six minutes left in regulation, the Lady Jackets hit the crossbar for a second time, which forced the game into a golden goal overtime.
“Sometimes the post isn’t your friend,” said head coach Jonathan Meade. “You just have to keep working. I’m proud of the patience and discipline.”
The first overtime period saw both teams maintain some possession and get in the attacking final third of the pitch, but the Lady Jackets’ hard-fought effort finally paid off in the 98th minute when Wyer’s initial shot deflected off the goal and Addie Erslan took control of the rebound and sent the ball into the back of the net.
“We fought into overtime which really shows our perseverance and drive to get the win,” said senior Mackenzie Northcutt about the team’s win.
Wyer pointed out the solid defensive line the Jackets had, as well as the successful offensive attack, as factors in the result. “We are a talented team and each game we are getting more confident with chemistry and attacking,” she explained.
The Lady Jackets are set to travel to Ashland University on Saturday in another G-MAC matchup. Kick-off for the game is set for 4:00 p.m.
Josh Decker is a senior Sport Business Management major and a sports reporter for Cedars. He loves playing sports with friends, and spends much of his free time as a student assistant for the Cedarville men’s basketball team.