by Josh Decker
On Tuesday night, the Cedarville Lady Jackets overcame an early two-goal deficit to top Tiffin University 5-2 in a hard-fought match. The victory improves the Jackets’ record to 4-3-1 this season, including an impressive 4-1 record at home.
“Tiffin came ready to play and caught us on our heels, but I’m really proud of the team and how we responded and just kept working,” head coach Jonathan Meade said.
From the opening kickoff, Tiffin brought the intensity. Only three minutes into the game, the visitors capitalized on a Cedarville turnover near midfield and crossed the ball to a wide-open forward who drilled the ball past the goalkeeper.
Five minutes later Tiffin continued the offensive pressure by sending a ball into the box that was delivered into the back of the net again to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
Cedarville adjusted its playing style and moved senior Mackenzie Northcutt, normally a midfielder, into a defending position. As the defense reorganized, the offense started to click for the Lady Jackets.
In the 22nd minute, freshman Payton Fraley had an excellent pass to junior Mary Kate Wyer, who was one-on-one with the Tiffin goalkeeper. Wyer took control of the ball and calmly sent the ball past the goalkeeper to give Cedarville their first goal of the night.
“We weren’t as ready as Tiffin the first few minutes, but our team was able to rally together,” said Wyer.
The Jackets maintained pressure on Tiffin with the momentum generated from the goal, and then again in the 31st minute, Cedarville found the back of the net when Cedarville put the ball on goal and a rebound shot by freshman Addie Erslan deflected off a defender and into the goal to tie the match at 2-2.
The Lady Jackets continued to pressure the Dragons, and went into the half knotted at two goals apiece.
Entering the final 45 minutes, Cedarville took advantage of the momentum and regained the offensive pressure in the final third of the pitch. In the 54th minute, senior Aleah Martone received a pass and rocketed a shot past a diving Tiffin goalkeeper to give the Lady Jackets a 3-2 lead with 36 minutes remaining.
Tiffin responded by establishing some possession in the offensive zone, which led to a couple shots and corner kicks. Both teams went back and forth until Cedarville earned a corner kick in the 72nd minute.
Holly Gouldrup, who had just substituted in, stepped up to take the kick, and she delivered a beautiful kick into the box, which freshman Megan McClish headed into the net for a fourth Cedarville goal.
“I was really excited to take the corner. I just wanted to give my team some good service so that they could finish it in the box,” Gouldrup said.
With the result all but certain, the Jackets continued playing hard, and it led to a fifth straight Cedarville goal by Hannah Sareyka, which was headed in off a corner again to give the Lady Jackets the 5-2 victory.
“The increased goal scoring was due to hard-fought teamwork,” explained Wyer. “At the start of the second half, we decided as a unit that we were going to play for one another. This win shows that our team can bounce back from pressure and adversity.”
Gouldrup added that a sense of urgency and intensity helped the Jackets secure the win at home.
“Everyone on this team brings something different to the table, and it’s really great to see each of them using their talents to bring glory to the King, win or lose,” she said.
Cedarville’s next game is this coming Saturday, Oct. 2nd, when the Lady Jackets host Ursuline on homecoming weekend. The G-MAC matchup is set to start at 2 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.
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