Carroll prevailed after a double overtime goal from senior Sabrina Georgeff as the Bluejays dropped their second to last CCIW game of the season on Oct. 21.
For the majority of the day, not much happened between the Bluejays and Pioneers. Their late season CCIW women’s soccer matchup was a scoreless tie in the 87th minute before the teams traded late goals when Carroll scored with 3:48 remaining and EC matched them with only 11 seconds left.
EC goalie Sophia Tuliglowski made a pair of saves in the game’s final minute. However, after a rebound trickled away from her, Georgeff found herself in the right place at the right time.
“It feels great,” said Georgeff about scoring the game winning goal. “We had a nice lead up that went to [the goal] and the ball conveniently got played right back to me.”
“I stayed calm ... and finished it. It was a little nailbiter as it rolled in the goal,” added Georgeff.
The consecutive goals as regulation ended were a stark contrast to the rest of the game as both teams displayed defensively focused strategies throughout much of the day.
“We identified their three dangerous attacking players and had a plan to deal with them individually and collectively,” said Bluejays head coach Paul Webster. “For most of the game we did.”
Webster explained to reporters that, despite their best efforts, the ball did not roll their way in the second overtime period.
“They were in our end more than we were,” said Webster. “What we were doing wasn’t working and, I mean, the field tilts one direction or the other quite often and it tilted against us then and we kinda panicked a little bit.”
“We had a couple chances to clear the ball at the end and didn’t,” added Webster. “We gave up a hand ball that gave them a free kick that allowed them to put it in our end and then those things kinda compound.”
Georgeff went on to add that her team was stunned when the Bluejays tied the game with such a late goal, yet she was pleased with the way they responded.
“It was tough when they scored again right after us like that with such little time left, but that just lit a fire under us to keep going,” said Georgeff.
As the CCIW season comes to a close, the victory improves the Pioneer’s position in the conference standings as they move to 3rd place.
“I think we have Carthage and Millikin left,” said Georgeff. “Those are both big games for us to keep winning in conference to get into the tournament. I think we’ll keep building from here and keep our little streak going as long as possible.”
As for the Bluejays, the loss dropped them from 4th place to 5th, and if the season ended today they would be on the outside looking in at the CCIW tournament.
“We need to win our game. We need help,” said Webster. “We have to win our last game and what help we’ll need we'll find out on Wednesday.”
The Bluejays head to Dominican University to play a non-conference game against the Stars on Oct. 25 before heading home to play North Park in their season finale on Oct. 28. The Vikings are currently winless in CCIW play.