Lady Flames soccer finishes in a draw against High Point Panthers
- High-energy and intensity game leaves both the Flames and the Panthers scoreless in the double overtime game.
- After some difficulty getting into the flow of the game, the Flames put pressure and defense on High Point.
As the loud speaker counted down the final five seconds of play Wednesday night, the Liberty University Lady Flames sophomore Gabrielle Farrell attempted the potential game-winning kick. High Point Panthers goalkeeper Alex Hank made a sliding save, pinning the ball between herself and the ground as the clock ran out. Following two overtime periods the Liberty University Flames and the High Point Panthers left Osborne Stadium in a 0-0 draw.
Lady Flames freshman goal keeper Melody Jayroe made two critical saves in the first 15 minutes of play, one of them being a highly-arced kick that Jayroe came out of the goal to save.
“I think High Point’s one of our biggest opponents and people talk them up a lot,” Jayroe said. “It’s really important to not get nervous and stay focused.”
Jayroe and the Flames defense stayed focused all night, not allowing a single goal in regulation or in either overtime period. In 110 minutes of play Jayroe made three saves.
Halfway through the first half the Flames offense began to methodically move the ball down the field, but its momentum was stifled by the aggressive Panthers defense.
With under six minutes until the end of the first half, Ally Hill located the ball in the air and headed it toward the Panthers goal. Hank was there in time for the save.
In the last two minutes of the first half, the Panthers offense broke away from the lady Flames defense and was approaching the lady Flames goal when senior Jordan Kestel sprinted in from behind the Panthers offense and made an aggressive slide tackle, thrilling the crowd.
Both teams departed to their locker rooms at a 0-0 stalemate.
“ (The Panthers) game is really high pressure, high intensity, a lot of energy,” Lady Flames Head Coach Lang Wedemeyer said. “It took us a little bit to kind of get into the flow of the game, but once we did I thought we played pretty well.”
One of the Lady Flames who was able to get into the flow and play well was junior midfielder Lauren Weygandt, who came off the bench halfway through the first half in relief of injured junior Sarah Erickson.
Weygandt played 64 minutes and contributed with excellent possession time on numerous Lady Flames possessions.
“I just have to keep God as the center focus,” Weygandt said. “Having my joy in the Lord allows me to stay focused, helps me to stay mentally engaged in the game.”
Weygandt said she understands there are aspects of the game the Lady Flames can still improve on moving into their upcoming games.
“I feel like our team shouldn’t take anything for granted. We need to come out that hard every single time, and obviously we didn’t get the win,” Weygandt said. “We need to focus on finishing in the final third and also encouraging each other on the field.”
Following an eventless overtime period, the crowd at Osborne Stadium grew restless.
The second overtime period followed in the footsteps of the first, as the clock ran out and both exhausted squads converged at center field to finish the evening in prayer.
As the Flames recuperate after their 110-minute game, they will have to set their focus on Saturday, Sept. 30, against conference opponent Winthrop University at 1 p.m. in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
“Don’t try to fix anything that isn’t broken,” Jayroe said. “Stay focused, stay together, and stay Christ-centered.”