Heartbreaking loss puts season on brink
WC faces win or go home game Saturday
October 23, 2012
- Junior defender Rachel Gutowski -
WILMINGTON – The Wilmington College women’s soccer team has been here before. With Tuesday’s heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Ohio Northern at Charlie Gilhart Field, the Lady Quakers have their collective backs against the wall.
A win in Saturday’s regular season finale with John Carroll, and they are in the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament. With a loss and a season that starting with so much promise comes to an unceremonious end. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. Saturday at Gilhart Field.
It was the same way for WC last season, and they were able to prevail under the win or go home scenario.
The Lady Quakers were nearly moments from forcing overtime when Ohio Northern, the preseason favorite in the OAC, found the back of the net with a shade under two minutes remaining. For the last five minutes of the game, Ohio Northern applied extreme pressure on the WC defense, and it finally overwhelmed the Lady Quakers.
“Ohio Northern felt they needed to win to secure a spot in the tournament,” said WC head coach Steve Spirk. “We played strong in the second half. We had chances to go ahead. There were corner kicks and plays at goal.”
Seven of ONU’s 10 second-half shots were in the final five minutes of the game, including four within a 15 second span that eventually led the game winner. Wilmington couldn’t clear the ball as the Polar Bears had three straight shots hit the crossbar, before the fourth hit the bar and landed in the back of the net.
Wilmington fell behind in the 26th minute as ONU took advantage of a foul called on the edge of the box, and buried a free kick. The scored remaining 1-0 until the 58th minute as an Ohio Northern miscue led to the equalizer.
A cross pass hit off a Polar Bear defender and went to the back of the net for an own goal.
Freshman Sarah Stauffer (Beavercreek, OH/Beavercreek) had three saves in taking the loss.