Bad News. We gave up a goal in the first 3 minutes of the game. It was similar to other goals we have given up throughout the year, most recently against FGCU and UNF. The shot hit the underneath side of the crossbar and bounced down and in the goal.
It may have taken 10 minutes after the goal was scored, and we took over the tempo of the game. It was great possession, great tempo, great scoring chances, and great effort. It was the best we have played as a team all year. I could rely on every player I put in the game. Each player gave the same amount of effort.
The other thing about the game that was similar to our season... In the 109th minute of the game, we had 26 shots and 1 goal. We were one minute away from outshooting a team 27-13 and tying 1-1.
We could not tie, so I started cheating numbers forward. We were practically in a 2-4-4 during the last 5 minutes of overtime. The play was end to end. Thankfully, Stetson missed some wide open shots, and Marcela blocked a sure goal. With less than a minute in double overtime, we put together a string of urgent passes, a composed cross, and a header in the upper 90.
Going into the game, we were 3-0-1 against Stetson in our last 4 games with 3 out of our last 4 goals against them being off a set piece. Both of our goals in this game were beautiful and scored in the run of play. Kailee, Bailey, and Rock were involved in both goals. Rock played an excellent entry pass into Patience, but the Stetson defender kicked it out of bounds. Kailee threw the ball into Bailey, and Bailey was dribbling from the corner flag toward the corner of the penalty area when she unleashed a shot with her left foot. It zipped past the goalkeeper and into the far post side netting. Amazing!
On the second goal, Jamie Loftis got on the end of a bouncing entry pass. She, Bailey, and Megan Rock locked it into our attacking third and could not get clean shots off in 2 attempts. Bailey played the ball out to the left side where LP ran onto it. She took her defender to the end line, and passed the ball back to Kailee. Kailee took one touch and served it in the box. Because we had held the ball in the final third for so long, we had excellent numbers in the box. Rock headed the ball in the corner against the goalkeepers momentum. I call that, "Putting it back where it came from."
I was elated. I was not thinking about the conference tournament or anything else. I was thinking about how proud I was of our team. They came back from a goal down on a Sunday on the road. They played beautifully and passionately. They have played well 3 halves in a row, and we are peaking at the right time.