The Eastern Oregon University women’s soccer team overcame two drama-filled contests and is headed back to the NAIA national tournament’s final site.
Morgan Farrington scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes of regulation to lift the Mountaineers past Bethel, Tennessee, 1-0 Friday, then Eastern won a shootout Saturday against John Brown University, 3-2, after the teams played to a scoreless tie. The matches, played in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, advanced the Mountaineers out of their opening round bracket and to the final 16.
The Mountaineers survived a major scare from the Wildcats to win Friday when Farrington scored the winning goal with just 1:43 to play. The junior took a pass from Josee Bassett, took one touch and then put in the winner from 8 yards out. The ball went right through the legs of Bethel keeper Shanay Ricketts, who up to that point had recorded six saves and had turned Farrington away on three previous occasions.
Eastern goalkeeper Savannah Hutchinson had three saves in the win, including two in the second half when the game was still scoreless. Eastern found a rhythm on offense in the second half, outshooting Bethel 12-5 after facing a 9-5 disparity in shots in the first half.
Saturday’s contest was even more dramatic.
Hutchinson recorded six saves during the match — three in the second half and one in each overtime period — then lifted her game to another level with three more stops during the penalty kick round to push the Mountaineers to the next round.
Both teams converted a successful penalty kick on the first attempt, with Farrington and JBU’s Jenna Miller putting their kicks in. After JBU keeper Chloe Griffin and Hutchinson both had saves on the second kick, Nan Kiebert and Camie Edgington put home back-to-back attempts — while Hutchinson recorded another save — for a 3-2 lead. Griffin had a second stop to keep John Brown alive, but Hutchinson turned away JBU’s Kathryn Huff on the final attempt to secure the shootout victory.
JBU gave Eastern all it could handle for the entire 110 minutes. The Golden Eagles held a 12-8 shot advantage and were the only team to attempt a shot in the overtime sessions.
The Mountaineers (16-2-3 overall) face fourth-ranked and undefeated Central Methodist in the second round Dec. 2 in Orange Beach, Alabama.
National run ends for EOU men at Baker
A second-half scoring burst by the Baker University Wildcats brought an end to a magical ride by the Eastern Oregon University men’s soccer team.
Massimo Salvoni and Jordan Alonge scored eight minutes apart early in the second half to break a stalemate, and Baker blanked the Mountaineers, 2-0, Friday afternoon in Baldwin City, Kansas, during the opening round of the NAIA national playoffs.
The Mountaineers played toe-to-toe with the home team Wildcats for the first 45 minutes, and actually outshot Baker in the opening half, 4-2, as the teams battled to a scoreless draw at the break.
Salvoni, though, started a second half dominated by the Wildcats by scoring off a rebound in the 47th minute. Alonge, the Wildcats’ leading scorer, scored off a corner kick in the 55th minute to double the lead.
Baker outshot the Mountaineers in the second half, 11-4.
The loss brings EOU’s season, one that saw the Mountaineers reach the postseason for the first time, to an end with a final record of 9-10-3.