The Ashland University women's soccer team scored late in regulation to tie and then scored just 89 seconds before the end of the second overtime as the Eagles downed visiting Ferris State, 2-1, in a battle for second place in the GLIAC at Ferguson Field on Sunday (Oct. 8) afternoon.
The Eagles (7-4-1, 4-1 GLIAC) tied the game in the 87th minute when senior Carson Janssen sent in a low corner kick that senior Brittany Ehlert flicked into the middle of the box. Senior Julie Lacock got to the ball first, took a touch and pounded a shot past the Ferris keeper to equalize.
It was Lacock's first goal since she scored in her third career game as a freshman. It was Ehlert's second assist and Janssen's first of the season.
"Brittany flicked it back. I just stopped it and instinctively kicked it and it found the back of the net," said Lacock.
The winner came in the 109th minute as the Eagles won a restart just inside the half-line. Lacock stood over the ball and her arcing service bounced and hit off the left post. The rebound deflected in front of the net and senior Morgan Bittengle slid the ball into the net at the goal line to give the Eagles the win.
"On most free kicks, Morgan and I have this connection where I look at her and she just knows what to do," Lacock said. "I play the ball and she does the rest."
"That's what she's been doing for four years, getting in the right place at the right time," said AU head coach Danny Krispinsky of Bittengle. "She has the feel for that and that's what the great strikers do. They know where to be at the appropriate time. She's been doing that her whole career, making big plays for us."
The Lacock-Bittengle combination nearly locked up for a goal earlier in the game on a free kick, but Bittengle's chip shot clanged off the same post that denied Lacock.
The game was even for much of the afternoon and went into halftime scoreless. The Bulldogs (7-6, 3-2 GLIAC) were the aggressors early in the second half and they were rewarded with a goal in the 51st minute as Tia Vansuilichem finished a corner kick by Hilerie Schatzle.
The Eagles continued to get opportunities, piling up four shots in the second half before tying the game late.
"We knew it was going to come eventually," Bittengle said. "We didn't know when it was going to come, but we knew it was coming."
"It says a lot about our character and resiliency," Lacock said. "In games like these, it's stressful and scary, but there's always a belief in our team that we've got it."
The win was a nice rebound for the Eagles, who lost to Grand Valley State, 7-0, two days prior. Ashland has not lost consecutive games since Oct. 9-11, 2015.
"We knew that Friday that wasn't us. It was a bad performance," Krispinsky said. "We talked about just forgetting that and putting it behind us. Today showed the character of our team. Not only to respond from Friday's result, but we went down 1-0 and to still have the belief and the faith that we can do this."
The Eagles will look to carry this win on the road next week when they travel to the Upper Peninsula. The road trip starts Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Michigan Tech in Houghton.