Swihart's Overtime Goal Leads #11 Eagles Past Davenport

Swihart's Overtime Goal Leads #11 Eagles Past Davenport

Fifth-year senior forward Deijah Swihart scored two goals, including with 15 seconds left in the first overtime period, as the Ashland University women's soccer team beat Davenport, 2-1, on Senior Day (Nov. 3) at Ferguson Field.

The game-winning goal came as sophomore Makenzie Kelly sent in a low cross and Swihart beat her defender to the ball and poked it in with her right foot on the volley at the near post. That sent her teammates streaming onto the field as the Eagles rebounded nicely from their 2-0 defeat to No. 2 Grand Valley State on Friday. 

"Kenzie crossed it in, and in overtime, you have to put your body on the line," Swihart said. "I didn't know if it went in, because it looked a little to the side, but everyone started cheering. I braced myself for the dogpile and got to celebrate with my friends."

The Eagles (13-2-1, 7-1 GLIAC), ranked No. 11 in the United Soccer Coaches poll, sit in second place by themselves and can secure the No. 2 seed in the GLIAC Tournament with a point in their final regular season game on Friday (Nov. 8) at Saginaw Valley.

On Sunday, the Eagles had the better of the play for a majority of the game and held a 61-39 advantage in possession. Ashland out-shot Davenport by a 5-3 margin in the first half, but the game remained scoreless at the intermission.

The Panthers (6-7-2, 4-2-2 GLIAC) scored the game's opening goal in the 53rd minute by drawing a foul 25 yards from goal against the run of play. Ashlyn Skidmore's free kick from the right side was perfectly placed over the outstretched hands of AU keeper Hannah Lee and underneath the crossbar.

The Eagles responded quickly. In the 57th minute, the Eagles won their own free kick in front of their own bench about 30 yards from goal. Sophomore center back Tori Baker took the kick and drove it to the middle of the box where Swihart rose and drove a header inside the near post.

Baker and Kelly now have four assists each on the season.

Neither team had a great chance in the overtime period until Swihart cashed in her 10th goal of the season. She is now tied for fifth on Ashland's all-time list with 34 in her career.

"She has the mindset of being a leader on this team, knowing she has to step up in those types of moments," said second-year head coach Taylor Clarke. "The cool thing is for other players to see that and know that's going to be their chance in the future."

The Eagles held a 14-5 lead in shots overall and got two saves from Lee, who is now 11-1-1 on the season. Davenport's Samantha Beckles made seven saves.

The Eagles will play Saginaw Valley on Friday (Nov. 8) at 1 p.m. in University Center, Mich. The GLIAC Tournament will start on Sunday (Nov. 10) at 1 p.m. at Ferguson Field.