Alison Smalling / Sports Information Director
For the second time this season, the Embry-Riddle women’s soccer team erased a multiple-goal deficit to earn a victory. The second-ranked Eagles fell behind 2-0 in the first 15 minutes of the contest, but score three times in the first half and twice in the second to take a 5-3 win over SCAD Savannah in Sun Conference action on Friday. Nina Joergensen came off the bench to contribute two goals and an assist as ERAU improved to 10-1 overall and 5-0 in league play.
The Eagles appeared out of sorts to start the game and SCAD took advantage of ERAU’s sluggish start to net two early goals. The first score came at the 13:14 mark when Meadhbh Deeney cut the ball inside on last ERAU defender and slotted a low shot past Olivia Lynch for a 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later Kelly McKay dribbled her way into the box a got off a point-blank shot that was stopped by Lynch, but Lynch’s save bounced back to Deeney and the SCAD junior tapped in the rebound to increase the SCAD lead to 2-0.
The second goal seemed to awaken the Eagle squad and they responded with three goals in a 19-minute span. In the 21st minute, Andrea Frøshaug evaded a SCAD tackle and used her pace to get in behind the SCAD defense of the left side. She raced into the box and rifled a shot into the upper netting to pull the Eagles within one, 2-1.
As the half progressed, the Eagles’ confidence continued to grow as they continuously pressured the SCAD defense. That persistence paid off and the equalizing goal came in the 36th minute on the Eagles’ fifth set piece of the day. Annie Gelnaw’s attacking run forced her defender to send the ball out of play over the touchline. Dana Robins’ resulting corner kick was met by Julia Karlernas whose header went through the legs of SCAD netminder Sara Hall to knot the score at 2-2.
Seven minutes later the Eagles gained a lead they would not relinquish. Joergensen played a ball from inside the Eagles’ half over the top of the midfield that reached Gelnaw in stride. Gelnaw used her speed to blow by her marker and notched her sixth goal of the season to give ERAU a 3-2 edge at the break.
“This was a tricky game,” ERAU Head Coach Samantha Bohon commented. “We knew coming in it was going to be a really tough matchup so it was no surprise. I was extremely disappointed with our start. We looked like our heads were still in class and we weren’t ready to play. Rebecca [Gunn] has done a really good job with them in her first year as the head coach and SCAD is a good enough team where they punished us and scored two in the first 15 minutes.
“When we finally started to wake up, we started to play and keep it a little bit more and defend a little bit better, but it still was not very good.”
In contrast to their first-half start, the Eagles scored early in the second on another set piece. At the 52:18 mark, Helena Hansson took a free kick from just inside the Eagles’ half and lofted the ball to the far post where Frøshaug’s first-touch volley went across the face of the goal to Joergensen who finished her fifth goal of the year to give the Blue and Gold a two-goal cushion.
Nine minutes later, Frøshaug and Joergensen combined again for the Eagles’ fifth goal of the night. Frøshaug collected the ball on the left and delivered a cross to the far post where Joergensen volleyed it past Hall to make the score 5-2.
The Bees’ third goal came at the 63:18 mark and was the result of miscommunication on the part of the Eagle defense. Deeney capitalized on the miscue and found Alexandra Weinberg who recorded the final goal of the night, resulting in the 5-3 score.
Both Lynch and Hall came up with big saves in the second half to help their respective team’s cause. Lynch finished with five saves, while Hall pulled in six saves for the Bees who move 6-6 overall and 3-2 in the league.
The Eagles close out their home conference slate on Sunday with a 2 p.m. match against South Carolina Beaufort.
“We’re going to keep plugging away,” Bohon concluded. “We’ve yet to put a 90-minute effort together, so that’s what we’re going to focus on because we know we have a solid USCB team coming in on
Sunday for Senior Day.”