Record-breaking season ends in 1-1 draw at SLC Tournament
LAKE CHARLES, La. – The record-breaking season by the Oral Roberts University women’s soccer team came to an end in dramatic fashion on Friday as the Golden Eagles fell to Southeastern Louisiana in penalty in the Southland Conference Tournament Semifinals.
The penalty kicks were needed after the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
ORU’s season comes to an end with a 15-4-1 overall mark. It’s the second time in as many seasons the Golden Eagles reached the SLC Tournament Semifinals. SLU moves on to the finals with a 14-3-4 record, and will face the winner between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State.
After an evenly played match in the first half, the Golden Eagles came out of the locker room in the second stanza on the attack. In the 56th minute, the Golden Eagles were awarded a corner kick, and Ashley Martin almost delivered by wrapping the ball around the near post. Unfortunately, the SLU defense stepped up and was able to clear it without any damage.
Finally in the 8:08 remaining in regulation, ORU was able to get on the board and break the scoreless tie. Kayla Keller controlled the ball on the right side of the pitch, but was fouled about 30 yards away from the net. Taking the free kick, Jennifer Abernathy sent the ball into the box and Martin converted the goal from the 10 yards out to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead.
It was the second goal of the season by Martin and Abernathy’s ninth assist.
It looked as if the Golden Eagles would be headed to the championship match until Brianna Singh placed the ball in the net to tie the match with two minutes to go in regulation, following a free kick from Kelsey Salcido.
In the 96th minute, Mary-Kate Halsmer had a great opportunity for her tenth career game-winner, but a Lion defender was able to get a foot on the ball to clear it away from the net.
After 120 minutes of play, the match would be decided in a shootout.
Neither team was able to score a goal on its first attempt, but the Lions took the advantage after the second shot as Kayla Vera slipped a shot by a diving Maddie Rhodes. On the third attempt, Salcido scored for SLU and Abernathy placed the ball in the net for ORU.
After Lauren Lorentz scored on the fourth attempt for the Lions, the pressure was put on the Golden Eagles to score to stay alive. Halsmer had a great look, sending the ball to the left of the SLU goalkeeper Hope Sabadash who was diving the opposite direction. However, Sabadash was able to get a kick save for the victory.
Rhodes (10-3-1) made two saves in the match en route to her first draw of the season, while Sabadash (14-3-3), the SLC Freshman of the Year, recorded six saves. Rhodes ends the season with a Golden Eagle record 0.67 goals against average.