UNA soccer defeats Mississippi College in overtime

Freshman Haley Yarber (16 white) connects on a header during a conference game against Mississippi College Oct. 16. Yarber scored in the first minute of the game, while Ele Costello’s overtime goal gave UNA a 2-1 win.

With the Gulf South Conference season nearing its end, the UNA soccer team needed a win to hold an advantage in the standings.

The Lions (6-6, 5-3 GSC) hosted a previously unbeaten Mississippi College team in conference play (9-2-1, 6-1-1) and notched a 2-1 overtime victory at the Bill Jones Athletic Conplex in Florence.

“We knew this was going to be a competitive game,” said UNA coach Chris Walker. “(Mississippi College) has done really well in region games and conference games this year.”

Early in the second overtime period, senior forward Ele Costello nailed the game winner, as she split two defenders to set up a one-on-one opportunity against the goal keeper. The ball rolled past a diving goalie, giving UNA the 2-1 win.

To open the game, the Lions jumped out of the gate quickly, gaining possession within the first minute and scoring the opening goal. Freshman midfielder Haley Yarber knocked in a header off a corner kick from sophomore forward Kylie Huey.

“We set out to control the first 10 minutes of the game,” Walker said. “We obviously got a goal and got it going from there.”

UNA held the 1-0 advantage heading into the second half. Mississippi College drilled the equalizer in the 59th minute, as Lauren Smith found the net to tie the game. Neither team would score again in regulation, sending the game to extra time.

The Lions started overtime with four quick attacks, but no goals came from three shot attempts. The Choctaws also failed to score, sending the game into the second and final overtime period, where the Lions sealed the win.

UNA finishes a two-game home stand this week, as it hosts West Georgia Oct. 19 before closing the home season against Valdosta State on senior night Oct. 23.