Lions win home opener with extra time header

by Staff Writer Kadin Pounders

The UNA soccer team competed in extra time for the second straight contest, taking on the Belmont Abbey Crusaders Saturday night in their home debut.

The Lions settled for a 2-2 draw Thursday when they traveled to McKendree University but were able to find the net tonight in the overtime period for a thrilling 1-0 victory.

Each team struggled to maintain possession throughout the contest. After 90 minutes of regulation, the game remained scoreless.

“When we scheduled (Belmont Abbey), we knew it was going to be a competitive game,” said UNA head coach Chris Walker. “Those games are the kind we want to play, not just at the end of the year.”

Despite outshooting the Crusaders 19-9, the Lions could not seem to buy a goal in regulation. It was frustrating for the players, but senior forward Chloe Richards knew her and her teammates had to keep shooting.

“They played a different game,” Richards said, who had 13 shot and five shots on goal. “It was frustrating the first half. I had a few good shots but none of them went in. I knew if I got the opportunities one would eventually go in.”

Three minutes into the first extra time period, Richards was able to head a ball in on an assist from Alyssa Bova.

“Alyssa Bova and I had quite a few goals last season,” Richards said. “Headers aren’t my strong point but it came across to me. I knew I had to make the most of it, because in overtime you don’t get many opportunities.”

The game-winning goal was Richards’ second of the season.

With the win, the Lions improve to 1-0-1 this season. UNA will travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to take on Nova Southeastern Sept.11.