By Meghan Gill, Redshirt-Senior Midfielder
A great way to end a tough week is the only way to explain our feelings and the excitement of Friday night's game. Another win on Jeffery Field helped us reach one of our many goals this season of going undefeated at home, and took us one step closer to our ultimate goal. In what is most likely the last game we will host on Jeffery Field for the NCAA Tournament this year we came out even more excited than usual and ready to take on Army on Veterans Day. I can't help but think this also gave them a lot of excitement and pride in playing for a Military Academy on such a special day representing all those who have served our country. This led to a very passionate and hard fought game between both teams!
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders with high pressure all over the field. We knew coming into the game, they were going to be a tough team to break down as they have had 15 shutouts in 20 games this year, meaning we were really going to have to work for our goals. Knowing this going in, we were up for the challenge and worked to keep possession and use our wide players to get in behind them. You can see this from the stats, as we had 29 total shots and 8 corners to their 3 total shots and 0 corners.
We were working hard and getting our shots off, but just couldn't slip one past Army's keeper. She made some tough saves that kept Army in the game, but we knew they couldn't keep us off the scoreboard for 90 minutes, and we finally broke through in the 86th minute! It was a beautiful set up with Bri Hovington winning a ball down the sideline and finding Carly centrally. She turned and ran at the defense before playing a through ball that was "dummied" by Maya and found the foot of Christine making a run in behind the defense. Christine then calmly placed the ball in the lower corner for the game winner and punched our ticket to the next round of the NCAA Tournament!
We had to wait until the next day to see who our opponent in the next round would be as Marquette and Toledo played their first round game on Saturday. Marquette was able to oust Toledo with a golden goal in OT to set up our game to be played this Friday (5 p.m.) at host site Wake Forest University. Seeing as Wake Forest is the highest seed, they get the opportunity to host the second and third round games that are to be played Friday and Sunday this weekend. The winner of our game will play the winner of Wake Forest vs. Boston University at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the Sweet 16 of the tournament. It should be a very interesting match up this weekend as this is the second weekend in a row that we will play a team that we have never played before! Therefore, we are looking to start these meetings with a W! For all our fans following back home our game is at 5 p.m. on Friday and although it will not be televised, you can follow us online on Gametracker and live streaming video. We are focused in on our journey and as we leave for North Carolina tonight, we know we can come away from this weekend with a big opportunity and take one step closer in reaching our goal!