SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University women's soccer team defeated non-conference opponent Wittenberg University by a final score of 1-0 in double-overtime.
The Yellow Jackets have had a flair for the dramatic as of late, as their last two matches have been decided in the closing moments of regulation or in sudden-death overtime. It also marks the first time since the 2013 that BW has begun the season with a 3-0 record.
Winless in their last four matchups against Wittenberg (2-1), BW (3-0) won their first game against the Tigers since 1992. It is also their second consecutive matchup to go the distance, as last year's meeting between the two squads resulted in a 2-2 draw.
The Yellow Jackets played conservative soccer for the majority of the first half. Despite giving up three shots on goal, legitimate scoring opportunities by the Tigers were often limited by the BW defense. On the offensive end, the Yellow Jackets struggles mimicked that of Wittenberg's as their shots were often kept at ambitious distances. However, with less than two minutes left in the first half, BW had a terrific opportunity when junior midfielder Kenna Stones (Dresden/Tri-Valley) made contact with a header off a corner kick, but it was stopped by a sprawling Tigers' goalkeeper.
The second half featured much of the same offensive difficulties for the Yellow Jackets as they failed to record a shot on goal for the entire 45-minute period. Wittenberg had several chances with shots coming from just inside the crease, but they were either blocked by defenders or calmly corralled for saves. Both teams remained scoreless at the end of regulation.
Each team was reluctant to give up too much space in the first overtime period. Consequently, the ball remained in the middle portion of the field for the majority of the 10 minutes. However, in the second overtime period, and at the 105th minute of the match, a BW corner kick that was perfectly placed by senior midfielder Kenna Poptic (Dublin/Jerome) found resilient junior defender Morgan Gray (Dublin/Scioto), fighting for space amongst her counterparts to bank in a game-winning header on the far side of the net.
Senior goalkeeper Emma Bruno (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bethel Park) has now remarkably held her opponents scoreless in 285:39 of playing time this season, improving the reigning Ohio Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week's record to 3-0. Bruno saved all eight shots she faced on route to earning her 15th career shutout.
The Yellow Jackets' will try to extend their winning streak when they take on Westminster (Pa.) College at the Bengals Classic in Buffalo, New York on Friday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m.