Upland, Ind. - It was a battle that lived up to its billing as the Forester women’s soccer team finished in a 2-2 stalemate after two extra periods against conference foe Taylor University on Wednesday afternoon.
In a critical match-up that featured two of only three teams still unbeaten in MCC play, the Foresters needed less than 60 seconds to show they were up for the challenge. Erin Barclay started things off by playing a ball through to Brittany Hartman who put the finishing touches on a well-executed attack by striking the ball past Taylor’s keeper side netting.
The Trojans turned up the heat offensively and in the 26th minute found the back of the net to knot the score at 1-1. They struck again twenty minutes into the second stanza to push ahead 2-1. The never-say-die Foresters continued to battle and their efforts paid off with less than four minutes remaining when Emily Abrams scored her first career goal off a corner kick to even things up.
Neither team could gain an advantage in the two ten-minute overtime periods as the match ended in a 2-2 tie.
"Both teams have a lot of confidence in themselves,” noted Coach Burgher.” This is a game that at the end, both teams probably think they should have won. Britt put us in front real early in the game but credit goes to Taylor for not giving up. They really wanted it more especially in the first half. In the second half we started to match their intensity and I felt like that grew as the game went on. With three minutes left being down a goal, our girls never quit fighting. I was really impressed with them today; they showed a lot of heart. It would have been easy to just give in."
"We had the opportunity to take control of the game in the first half. We missed 3 1v1's with the keeper and when you do that against a team of Taylor's caliber, it’s hard to win. You have to make the most of every single opportunity, and today we didn't. It is encouraging that we put ourselves in that situation."
"As a coach it is fun to see the difference in our team over the years. In past years we would have been pretty happy to get a tie against a good team. Now we really believe we should be winning these games."
Taylor outshot the Foresters 27-13. HU keeper Sam Barclay finished with seven saves.
The Foresters (8-2-2, 2-0-1) host Indiana Wesleyan University on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. as part of HU’s Homecoming activities.