BRYN MAWR, Pa. - On a day when defense was optional and wet conditions made for some fast play on the turf on Applebee Field, the Bryn Mawr soccer team gutted out a thrilling victory to pick up their first win of the season. It seemed as if the team that scored last in today's matchup against Cedar Crest would win the game, and the Owls were that team, tallying the game-winner with little more than a minute-and-a-half to play to topple the Falcons by a 4-3 margin. Emily Elmore netted a pair of goals in the first half, while first-years Elizabeth Hummel and Ingrid Engelhardt scored in the second to help give Bryn Mawr the win. Carlie Hansen earned her first career victory in the net for Bryn Mawr, making three saves in the final 33 minutes of play to help the Owls secure the win. Cedar Crest got goals from three different players on the day, and Morgan Maddock made three saves of her own for the Falcons, but it was just not enough to weather the Bryn Mawr attack.
The game got off to a horrible start for Bryn Mawr, as the Owls allowed a Cedar Crest goal just 45 seconds into the contest. In fact, it was halfway through the first half before the Owls finally started to get some offensive chances of their own, but once those started, it didn't take long for Bryn Mawr to break into the scoring column. Emily Elmore was the sole manufacturer of the Owls' first goal, as she took a loose ball just inside the middle of the attacking third. She drove through the middle, past several Falcons players, and into the right side of the box with a full step on her defender. Elmore then struck a rocket of a shot that easily blew past Maddock and settled into the left side of the net to make it a 1-1 game.
Elizabeth Hummel got the next good look for either team just a couple minutes later, but her shot went just wide. Then, Cedar Crest got back on the front foot, and their next effort put the visitors back on top. Kaitlyn Kozdron picked up her second goal of the season by tapping in a loose ball in front of the net, and it appeared as if the Falcons would take a 2-1 lead to the break at halftime. However, the Owls would not let that happen, taking the momentum back in their direction over the final eight minutes of the half. A corner kick for Bryn Mawr helped keep the ball in the offensive zone for a good stretch, and that ultimately led to a foul way down low on the right side of the field. Stepping up and taking the free kick from just outside the penalty box was Alexis Boutchie, and the junior sent a perfect ball straight into the middle of the goal box, where a mass of players from both sides were fighting for position. The Falcons keeper, Maddock, leapt into the air to try and corral the ball out of the sky, but it squeezed just through her hands and landed dangerously right in the mouth of the goal. A Cedar Crest player tried to kick it away from danger, but the clearance went straight to the feet of Elmore. She took one touch and slammed a shot home, collecting her brace and knotting the game back up at two goals apiece.
The second half started slow, but only spun up to a more and more frenetic pace as the clock wound down. Both sides had legitimate opportunities, but the Owls seemed to have more of them, and that surplus paid off in the 69th minute. Elizabeth Hummel was able to run onto a perfectly weighted through pass right down the middle of the field, and she ran into the box with half-a-step on her defender. Angling just towards the right of the box, Hummel let a shot loose just as she was roughly taken down, and though the ball sailed just wide of the right post, the referee had spotted the infraction and awarded Bryn Mawr a penalty kick. Hummel stepped up to the slot and showed no signs of this being just her third collegiate contest, cooly burying a low driven shot in the right side of the net to give Bryn Mawr their first lead of the contest at 3-2.
Now leading for the first time in the contest, the Owls looked to lock down defensively and salt away the remaining twenty minutes of play, but the dramatics simply would not stop on this day. Right after Bryn Mawr hit the crossbar on a counterattacking try, the Falcons collected the ball and went all the way down to the other end of the field. Ultimately, a ball got past the last line of the Owls defense, and Carlie Hansen raced off of her line to try and collect the loose ball. However, there appeared to be a momentary miscommunication between Hansen and an Owls defender racing back to clear the ball away, and somehow neither was able to do anything with the ball. That allowed Cedar Crest's Daria Warner to race past the pair of Owls players and collect the ball, shepherding it into the now vacant net and tying the game at 3-3.
With the wind suddenly out of their sails, and in a manner reminiscent of Bryn Mawr's tough 2-1 loss to open this season, any other team with the Owls' youth might have folded at that moment and given up one more goal. However, Bryn Mawr showcased an impressive resilience today, putting the fluke goal behind them and immediately looking for a way to win the game in regulation. They would find that way, and it would come on the feet of three first-year players.
With less than two minutes to go in the contest, Elizabeth Hummel collected a loose ball just on the attacking side of the field on the left, and she sent a perfectly weighted pass on an angle down the field towards the right corner. Sarah Coufal was able to sprint down that side past her defender and run onto the ball at the top of the box. Pulling it back and letting her defender sail past her, Coufal centered a beautiful pass through a couple more defenders rushing back and found Ingrid Engelhardt all alone in front of the goal. With all kinds of time and space around her, Engelhardt was able to collect and fire a shot past Maddock and into the net, sparking a raucous celebration from the Owls and fans in the stands. That proved to be the final major action of the game, and Bryn Mawr claimed their first win of 2018 in 4-3 fashion.
The Owls will look to build off today's result when they get back in action on Tuesday against Cairn. Keep an eye on the status of that contest by checking GoBrynMawr.com often, as impending rains over the next several days may cause a change to the location or time of that event.