The women’s soccer team at Idaho State University continued its streak of having games decided in the last minute in two home games against North Dakota Oct. 3 and Northern Colorado Oct. 5, respectively.
First, the Bengals faced off against North Dakota with their undefeated streak at home on the line.
Though the Bengals had a whopping 29 shots on goal compared to North Dakota’s 5, the game remained 0-0 for the entire first half and most of the second.
Then, senior forward Amanda Ellsworth did what she does best.
The Big-Sky-leading goal scorer knocked in a goal in the eighty-sixth minute of the game, allowing the Bengals to walk off the pitch with the victory and remain undefeated at home.
“I told my team at halftime that this is one of those games that could come down to the last 30 seconds,” head coach Allison Gibson said to ISU Sports Information. “You’ve got to see this one all the way through. We kept telling them to keep their foot on the gas pedal and eventually something is going to give.”
The 1-0 victory also marked Idaho State’s first shut out of the season.
Junior goalkeeper Sheridan Hapsic made three saves on goal to preserve the shut out.
“It was in our game plan to be moving forward,” Gibson said to ISU Sports Information. “Regardless of who we play we have to get in front of the game and we did that today. The mindset was to keep it as far away from our goal as possible.”
Unfortunately for the Bengals, the decision made in the last second of their next contest against Northern Colorado did not fall in their favor.
UNC’s Essence Ortiz-Lanier connected on a point-blank shot, sending the ball into the back of the net with a mere 10 seconds to go and handing the Bengals their first home loss of the season with a 2-1 score.
The Bengals struck first in the fifty-second minute after Ellsworth and freshman Maria Sanchez navigated passes through multiple defenders before finding junior midfielder Whitney Peterson, who proceeded to connect on her first goal of the season to put ISU up 1-0 over the Bears.
The lead lasted a mere seven minutes.
The Bears managed to knot up the game at 1 after a headed ball eluded the hands of Hapsic.
The game remained tied until the final seconds, when Ortiz-Lanier’s late-game heroics put UNC up 2-1.
“You can’t put too much weight into one game, even if you win,” Gibson said to ISU Sports Information. “In this conference it always comes down to the last week of the season. I told them you have to get rid of the feeling of this game. It’s unfortunate, but we have to try to get back at it and stay in the race as much as possible.”
The Bengals will play their final game of their three-game home stand Oct. 10 when they take the pitch to face off against Portland State at Davis Field at 4 p.m.
Gibson’s squad will then be on the road for two games, heading to California for a matchup against Sacramento State Oct. 12 and then back to Idaho for a showdown with the University of Idaho in Moscow on Oct. 19.