The Dixie State University women’s soccer team never gave up against Point Loma Nazarene University in its final home game of the season Saturday.
Point Loma took a 2-0 lead into halftime, but the Red Storm fought back and finished strong with a 3-2 victory in the second overtime.
Two bad bounces put DSU in a 2-0 hole at halftime. The first goal for the Sea Lions was deflected off the goalpost and past the goalkeeper.
“It’s kind of frustrating when you come out of that first half and you know that we play a whole lot better than that,” said midfielder Danica Pickett, a senior communication major from Las Vegas.
The second goal bounced just out of the reach of sophomore goalkeeper Stacie Gubler and off the crossbar directly to a PLNU forward for an easy goal.
“We were obviously disappointed at halftime,” head coach Kacey Bingham said. “The first half wasn’t how we play, it wasn’t how we should play, and it wasn’t how we should approach the game.”
Bingham made the right changes at halftime and Dixie State went on to tie the game by the end of regulation.
“We addressed at halftime what this game means to us,” Bingham said. “We talked about doing the basics. We talked about making smart decisions, playing better high defense, and making good choices in the final third.”
The Red Storm struggled with ball control and had many lazy passes in the first half, allowing the Sea Lions to have too many opportunities. DSU came out of halftime and fixed the problems with crisper passes and better ball control.
DSU finally found the back of the net less than three minutes into the half. Sophomore midfielder Megan Marchbanks stayed in position on a throw-in that was headed right to her. It was an easy shot to the bottom left corner away from the goalkeeper.
“Our team always knows how to come back and finish it,” said forward Jennifer Mason, a junior accounting major from Springville. “If we could just start (strong) from the very first of the game, we would do a lot better, but at least we kept fighting.”
The Red Storm struck again minutes later when Mason got an assist off a free kick from junior midfielder Aarika Andersen. Mason scored with 31 minutes left from 10 yards out also on the left side of the goal.
Both the Sea Lions and the Red Storm settled with playing defense the remainder of regulation and the first overtime.
The game winning goal came at 4:44 left in the second overtime. Mason had a perfect slide tackle at midfield, and she took the ball alone to the goalkeeper and scored, completing the comeback.
“I just (thought), ‘The ball is there; I better take it as far as I can,’” Mason said. “It was open; I just had to be composed and place it.”
This game marked the final home game of the season and final career home game for the lone senior, Pickett.
“I’m just glad we won,” Pickett said. “I’m not really an emotional person. I want to cry, but I just don’t. When we scored that last goal (though), I’m not going to lie, I cried. (The tears) weren’t fake. They were real. It was a good feeling.”
The Red Storm will finish their season with two away games against California Baptist University Nov. 7 and 9.