PEMBROKE, NC- The Pfeiffer University women’s soccer team (0-3) dropped a heartbreaker when Savanna Stiles scored with six seconds remaining in the game to give UNC Pembroke (2-1) a 2-1 victory. The Lady Falcons have lost all three matches this season by one goal.
Pembroke had control of the early action, firing the first four shots of the match, with one hitting off the post. However, freshmen goalkeeper Kate Halligan made two early saves that kept the Lady Falcons in the game. Halligan would make four saves in the first 25 minutes of game time, and the offense responded to her solid play. The Lady Falcons took five shots, two on net, in the next three-and-a-half minutes. In the 30th minute, Sarah Yates had Pfeiffer’s best chance to score, but her shot deflected off the post and the game remained locked in a scoreless draw. In the 41st minute, the Lady Falcons broke the tie when Katlyn Stevens connected on a direct kick from 19 yards out, placing it in the top right corner for her first score of the season. Just under two minutes later, Julia Nytorp took a feed from Rae-Shawna Campbell and beat Halligan to tie the game back up. At the end of the first 45 minutes, Pembroke had a 12-9 advantage in shots.
Halligan’s strong play continued into the second half as she made back-to-back saves in the 52nd minute but faced her most difficult challenge just one minute later. After Alexa Eclipse was whistled for a foul and given a yellow card, Sara Lundberg was awarded a penalty kick. However, Lundberg misfired on her shot, and hit the crossbar. The offensive attack continued, but none of the Braves could solve the keeper. In total, Pembroke fired 15 second half shots, but Halligan made six saves, and the match appeared to be heading to overtime. However, with six ticks left on the clock, Stiles netted the winner on a deflection off a direct kick.
“This was a tough loss,” remarked Head Coach Elijah Denton. “We are definitely better than our record indicates. We are going to take the positives from tonight and build on them and also learn from our mistakes. We will continue to battle and continue to get better.”
For the match, UNC Pembroke held a 27-16 advantage in shots, including a 15-7 edge in the second half. Kayla Rodriguez took five shots for Pfeiffer.
Britney Bennett made six saves in the winning effort, while Halligan finished with nine stops.
Each team had four corner kicks in the contest.
The Lady Falcons return to action on Friday night when they travel to Milledgeville, GA to take on Georgia College & State University. Action begins at 7:30 p.m.