BEREA, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University senior three-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference and Academic All-OAC forward Rachel Bender (Massillon/Jackson) had a pair of assists and broke the school's all-time assist record as the Yellow Jackets survived a second-half comeback by OAC and crosstown rival John Carroll University for a 3-2 victory inside George Finnie Stadium.
Bender's two assists against the Blue Streaks (4-10-1, 1-5 OAC) gives her 33 in her outstanding career and pushes her past former teammate and recent 2018 graduate Courtney Schutz who held the previous school record with 32 assists. The win also marks the first time that the Yellow Jackets (9-5-1, 3-3 OAC) bested their conference and crosstown rivals since 2006.
The BW defense, particularly middle backs senior Academic All-OAC defender Bri Osborne (Cincinnati/Batavia) and sophomore defender Morgan Gray (Dublin/Scioto), made a couple of crucial stops early to keep the game scoreless until the 21st minute. Bender, the reigning OAC Offensive Player of the Week, tied the school assist record when she sent a cross over to freshman midfielder Olivia Kane (Hilliard/Darby) who put the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard with her third goal of the season. With three additional shots on goal in the half, BW had opportunities to add to the lead but the John Carroll goalie kept the game 1-0 at halftime.
Early in the second half, Bender assisted sophomore midfielder Alex Guido (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) from right to left in front of the net to break the school record and put BW up 2-0 in the 47th minute. The Blue Streaks not going to go down quietly, however, as John Carroll got on the board in the 70th minute with a high, looping goal into the right corner of the net. The game-tying goal came in the 78th minute off a good play from the Blue Streaks' leading scorer Bailey Fischer. Feeding off the swing in momentum, John Carroll continued to play aggressively in the attacking third but the Yellow Jackets defense led by Gray and Osborne stood firm. As time ticked away, a Bender shot that was blocked bounced off another Blue Streak defender for an own goal in the 88th minute that sealed the BW victory.
In the net, junior Academic All-OAC goalkeeper Emma Bruno (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bethel Park) made a season-high eight saves on the 10 shots on goal she faced. Shots were even between the two teams at 22 apiece while BW held the advantage in shots on goal 13-10.
BW hits the road on Saturday, Oct. 20, to take on Wilmington College at 7 p.m. inside Williams Stadium.