After being down 2-0 at halftime, the Morehead State soccer team (4-2-1) showed their resiliency in a comeback double overtime tie versus the Marshall Thundering Herd (2-4-1) on Sunday, Sept 11.
Senior co-captains Brittany Kiracofe and Brittany MacLennan each scored a goal in the second half to lift the Eagles to the 2-all tie at Sam Hood Field. The 110-minute match was the first overtime match for the Eagles this season and the first extra-time match since the Eagles defeated Eastern Kentucky 2-1 in double overtime last season.
The story of the first half was set plays for Marshall, as both of the Herd’s goals came on restarts. Marshall was on the board in the 14th minute as an Eagle defender was called for a foul, leading to a Marshall free kick from 30 yards out. Angele DeSumma served in the ball, which found Freya Holdaway. Holdaway was able to head the ball past MSU senior goalkeeper Katie Blevins for the 1-0 lead.
Marshall added a second goal in the 26th minute on a corner kick by DeSumma. Again she served a good ball into the Morehead State box, and Robin Waskowski was there to head the ball into the goal for a 2-0 score favoring Marshall.
The Eagles had two close chances in the first half, but were unable to find the back of the net. Redshirt freshman midfielder Holly Tilley broke away from the Marshall midfield and played a through ball to junior forward Sam Toepfer, who had a one-on-one opportunity against Herd goalkeeper Betsy Haugh. Toepfer wouldn’t get the chance, as a Herd defender hustled back and cleared the ball for a corner.
Later in the first half, after a flurry of shots in the Marshall box, sophomore forward Alex Pacitto controlled the ball on the right wing. Pacitto crossed the ball in front of the net to fellow freshman forward Ali Hawksford. Unfortunately, Hawksford's shot was just wide of the goal. Despite the opportunities, the Eagles ended the first half down 2-0.
For Morehead State, the second half would be another story. After having Marshall control the flow of the match for much of the first period of play, the Eagles came out fired up and primed for a comeback. The comeback started in the 56th minute as Kiracofe put in her second goal of the weekend and of the season, and the third goal of her career. After a hard foul on junior midfielder Alyssa Nacke, senior defender Stephanie Gildehaus sent in a free kick from about 35 yards out on the right side of the field. Kiracofe was there to tap the ball into the left side of the goal. With the goal, Kiracofe now has tallied seven points on the season, which leads the Eagles.
A little more than 20 minutes later, the Eagles struck again as MacLennan scored her first goal of the season and the second of her career. The score was set up off a Sarah Phillip corner from the left corner flag. Phillip’s service sailed to the back of the box, where MacLennan was waiting. The senior settled the ball and then blasted it into the bottom right of the goal to move the score to 2-2.
With the comeback in full force, the Eagles upped the pressure on the Herd, pushing hard for the go-ahead goal. Marshall would not break and it was clear that the match was headed to overtime as the clock marched to zero.
In the overtime periods, the intensity of the match grew to a fever pitch with both teams battling for a score. Morehead State continued to push forward and most of the play in the opening overtime period was in the Marshall defensive third. Midway through the second overtime period the Eagles were inches away from putting in the game-winning goal. On a free kick by Gildehaus from 30 yards out, freshman forward Elizabeth Tresnak barely missed heading the ball into the back of the net and Haugh was able to control the ball. With players exhausted from the match, both teams raced to score the game-winning goal, but neither team was able to get anything past either goalkeeper, ending the match in a 2-2 tie.
Again the Eagles outshot their opponents, besting Marshall 21-14 on shots, with 11 of the 21 shots between the posts. Individually, MSU was led by Tilley and senior forward Devan Jordan with four shots, while Kiracofe recorded three shots, all of which were on goal. Blevins tallied five saves between the pipes, while Haugh had nine saves for the Herd. Morehead State earned six corner kicks to Marshall’s three.
Morehead State will next take to skies, as the Eagles fly to the state of Alabama to face South Alabama on Friday, Sept. 16 in an 8 p.m. EST match in Mobile, Ala. They'll travel north to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a 2 p.m. EST contest against SEC foe Alabama on Sunday, Sept. 18.