Richmond, Ind. – Abby Baker scored on a game-winning free kick with under one minute to go in the second overtime of a thrilling 2-1 victory by the Transylvania women's soccer team over the Earlham College Quakers on Wednesday afternoon at Matlack-Messer Stadium.
Baker's shot from approximately 20 yards off goal scorched past a wall of Earlham defenders and into the right corner of the net with 57 seconds remaining in the match to give Transylvania its first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory of the 2019 season.
The game-winner by the sophomore was her second goal of the day and swung the afternoon in the Pioneers' favor after conceding an earlier 1-0 lead midway through the second half to the Quakers.
Transylvania's astounding victory moved the Pioneers to 1-0-1 in HCAC play and 3-6-2 overall. Earlham fell to 7-4 and 0-2 in HCAC play.
The first half witnessed a fair dose of opportunities for both sides but ultimately went without a score; Transylvania managed six shots in the first half to four shots by Earlham with Transy holding a 2 to 1 shots-on-goal advantage.
The match saw its first pendulum swing in the 59th minute as Meron Roach brought the ball inside the 18 from the right end and was tackled subsequently, drawing a penalty against the Quakers. Baker took the kick and slotted the penalty kick perfectly to the left bottom corner of the goal, handing the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.
The tenor of the match switched hands 10 minutes later as the Quakers went on the attack. Earlham's Nicole Burkett went on a long run with the ball and as Transylvania's second wave of defenders closed in, lofted a left-booted shot from the edge of the box that flew over the outstretched arms of Transy goalie Morgan Patton and into the goal for the 1-1 tie.
The Pioneers continued to manufacture opportunities but eventually ran out of time in regulation as they played their third overtime game of the year.
In the first overtime, both teams continued to find their shots on goal but Patton and Earlham keeper Mel Johnson came up with clutch moments of their own with key saves. Transylvania nearly scored again on the second of two consecutive corner kicks late in the first overtime, but Baker was ruled offside after looking to score the go-ahead goal.
The match continued into the second overtime and with time winding down, the Pioneers earned a pair of long free kicks. Earlham turned away Transylvania's first free kick, but the Pioneers won back possession and Baker drew contact from 20 yards away. The sophomore lined up for a shot on the near side that evaded the grasp of all Quakers in the vicinity and found its way into the sweet spot with less than a minute to spare.
Patton finished the day with five saves while Baker picked up her fourth and fifth goals of the season and her second brace of 2019.
The Pioneers return to the pitch on Saturday, October 12 when they host the Manchester University Spartans in an HCAC match. The contest is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start from Pat Deacon Stadium in Lexington.
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