CLINTON – Wrapping up a three-game homestand on Sunday afternoon, the Ashford University women’s soccer team earned a win that could be summed up with the word “character.”
After grabbing a two-goal lead in the first half, the Saints held off a comeback rally from the Warriors of Indiana Tech for a 3-2 win.
Hollie Babut and Ali Tamburro netted first half goals, and freshman Luciane Wentz potted the game winner with just over five minutes to play for the No. 20-ranked Saints (6-2).
“It was about character more than style today,” coach Mick Regan said. “We could have folded after giving up a two-goal lead in the second half, but our girls hung in there and adjusted defensively. That’s a sign that we can play when facing some adversity and it was a good sign from our young group.”
With time ticking down in the first half, Babut opened the scoring for Ashford. The Oshawa, Ontario-native came streaking down the left side and put a crossing feed from senior Jordan Pisesky past Warriors’ keeper Jordan Roell for her fourth goal of the season.
Three minutes later, Courtney Babut was hauled down inside the box, allowing Tamburro to make it 2-0 when she beat Roell on a penalty kick in the 41st minute for her fourth tally of the year.
The Warriors answered early in the second half, with Alex Field scoring in the 58th and 61st minutes to even the score.
The two teams exchanged chances until the 85th minute, when senior Sarah Schreck delivered a perfect corner kick to Wentz, who wasted no time beating Roell for her first career goal. The assist gives Schreck a team-high 10 points on the year.
Shots were 21-15 in favor of the Warriors. Indiana Tech’s Tori Singstock led all players with eight shots. Schreck and Tamburro each had four shots to lead AU.
Ashford men overcome deficit
CLINTON – Ashford’s men’s soccer team did something on Saturday that they haven’t accomplished since the 2010 season: Overcoming a halftime deficit to take down Graceland University.
The No. 8-ranked Saints scored a pair of goals following the halftime break to record a 3-2 victory over the visiting Yellowjackets.
Javier Ramirez (Hildalgo, Mex.) headed in the game-winning marker in the 74th minute of action to lift AU to the win. For Ramirez, it marked his fourth goal of the 2013 campaign, assisted by Luiz Mota.
Ashford wasted little time lighting the scoreboard in the contest as senior Lucas Almeida scored in the second minute of play giving his squad a 1-0 lead. Almeida’s sixth goal of the year was assisted by Tim Krautheim and midfielder Simon Brown.
The Yellowjackets responded just over a minute later when GU’s Sebastian Pineda connected on a goal to pull the visitors back even.
In the 20th minute of play, Graceland scored again as Andy Quintanilla put a ball past AU goalkeeper Patrick Kinsella to give the upset-minded Yellowjackets a 2-1 lead.
The Saints turned up the intensity in the second half. Ashford outshot Graceland 10-2 in the second frame and turned in the equalizer in the 62nd minute when Daniel Dreier tallied his team-leading eighth goal, with Almeida on the assist.
Ramirez netted the game-winner just 13 minutes later to push Ashford to 6-2 overall this season.
The Saints outshot GU, 14-8, and earned 12 corner kicks to just two for the visitors.
Saturday’s victory marked the first come-from-behind victory for the Saints since AU downed Cardinal Stritch on Sept. 14, 2010.
Ashford returns to the pitch on Tuesday when the team travels to Marshall, Mo. to lock horns with the Vikings of Missouri Valley College. First kick is slated for 7 p.m.