NAMPA, Idaho – Despite falling behind twice in the game, the Western Oregon University women’s soccer team continued to stay the course. Following a late goal in the first half evened the game before halftime, another goal midway through the second half tied the game for a second time and that’s how it finished with the Wolves tying 2-2 at Northwest Nazarene on Saturday afternoon in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at the NNU Soccer Field.
“It was a hard-fought battle today. I loved our response after going down two times. Kaytlyn and Alyssa stepped up big getting us goals today and their first goals for WOU,” head coach Kacey Bingham said. “We got a point in each game this week on the road and five different goal scorers. The girls keep tackling every challenge thrown at them. We’re excited to get back to WOU for some home games.”
WOU (3-5-2, 2-2-2 GNAC) extended their unbeaten streak to four games and now have eight conference points in the standings.
The Wolves generated the first shot on goal just over three minutes in when Gabby Pulliam’s shot was saved by Alexis Montoya. Emily Wheeler then denied a chance by the Nighthawks (4-3-2, 2-3-1 GNAC) just over a minute later.
Following a chance by Pulliam that was saved in the 25th minute, Northwest Nazarene registered the first goal in the 32nd minute as Madison Grande scored on a penalty kick.
Over the next 10-plus minutes, neither team was able to tally any real scoring threats until right before halftime. Just when it looked like NNU would take a 1-0 lead into the locker rooms, Chloe Smith found Alyssa Talkington who recorded her first collegiate goal in the 45th minute to tie the game at one at halftime.
The first real chance of the second half went to the Nighthawks and they were able to cash in. Following a shot by Grande that was saved by Wheeler, off the rebound Sierra Sanchez was there to tuck the shot in for a goal in the 56th minute to move NNU to a 2-1 lead.
WOU responded right away getting a shot from Piper Matson just a minute later that was saved. Following a shot by Smith that was also saved, the Wolves broke through to tie on the next chance. In the 65th minute, Kaytlyn Larsen took a pass from Smith and headed home the goal to tie the game at two. It was Larsen’s first goal as a member of the Wolves.
The Nighthawks had a couple of shots over the next several minutes, but none of them landed on goal. After Wheeler turned a shot away in the 81st minute, Matson had the final look in the closing minutes, but her shot missed the net sending the game to overtime.
In the first overtime, Northwest Nazarene had two shots on goal around the 92nd minute mark that were both saved by Wheeler. WOU had a shot in the 96th minute by Briana Kubli that missed to push the game into a second overtime.
In the second extra session, Smith had a look in the 103rd minute that just missed the net. Over the final two minutes, the Wolves nearly claimed the win. Talkington looked to record her second goal of the game, but her shot was saved in the 109th minute. Over the final seconds, Matson had a chance that was also saved to keep the game tied. In-between those two chances by the Wolves, NNU got a shot on goal in the 109th minute that was saved by Wheeler to help the teams finish in a 2-2 tie.
NNU held a 15-12 edge in shots, while both teams had eight on goal. The Nighthawks had seven corner kicks to five for the Wolves and there were only 11 fouls whistled in the contest, six on NNU.
WOU had seven players play all 110 minutes in Jenna Efraimson, Matson, Hannah Rispler, Smith, Erika Gonzalez Moreno, Jada Foster and goalie Wheeler. Matson led the team with three shots, while Smith, Pulliam and Talkington added two apiece. In goal, Wheeler recorded six saves.
NNU had three players play all 110 minutes including goalie Montoya. Grande tallied six shots, while Sanchez added three. Montoya came away with six saves.
Following the quick two-game road trip, WOU now returns home for four straight games starting with Simon Fraser this Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. Simon Fraser lost in overtime today at Montana State Billings and sit just one point ahead of WOU in the conference standings. Pending other results later today, WOU is fourth in the GNAC with eight points, Simon Fraser is third with nine, Western Washington leads with 15 points and Seattle Pacific is second with 12 points. Saint Martin’s at Central Washington and Western Washington at Seattle Pacific have yet to play on Saturday.