The Ashland University women's soccer team grabbed its first win of 2017 in dramatic fashion, overcoming a 1-0 deficit and pounding rain to beat host Lake Erie, 2-1, in overtime on Monday (Sept. 4) night in Painesville, Ohio.
The Eagles (1-1-1), playing their third game in five days, summoned the necessary energy in the first overtime period to secure the victory.
The game-winning goal came as sophomore Emily Ledbetter carried the ball into the box down the right side and sent a low short cross across the goal to freshman Emily Mark, who ran onto the pass and bulldozed it into the net. It was her first career goal and the first assist of the season for Ledbetter.
The Eagles trailed the Storm (0-1) midway through the first half after Kristen Redwood put the hosts on the board when she knocked in a free kick by Ann-Kristin Frank.
Ashland held a 6-4 advantage in shots and a 4-1 lead in corner kicks in the first half, but still trailed at the intermission.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Eagles won another corner kick. Senior Kelsey McKernan sent in a perfect arcing ball to the top of the six-yard box where senior Morgan Bittengle rose above everyone and headed the ball inside the back post. The goal was Bittengle's first of the season and McKernan was credited with her first assist.
The Eagles managed two more shots in the second half, but the game remained tied through 90 minutes.
McKernan took a corner kick in the 92nd minute that went unfinished, and 80 seconds later, her shot was denied by the woodwork. At the 96:44 mark, Ledbetter connected with Mark for the game-winner.
The Eagles held a slight 13-10 lead in shots and maintained a 7-2 edge in corners for the game.
Senior keeper Maddie Diestel made her first start of the season and stopped six shots, while Lake Erie goalkeeper Marissa Brannon also made six saves.
The Eagles will now have an extended break before returning to the pitch Sept. 15 at Grand Valley State for a 7 p.m. kickoff.