FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The IPFW women’s soccer team wrapped up the weekend home slate on Sunday afternoon with a come-from-behind 6-4 win over Northern Kentucky (1-1-1)—the first victory of the 2014 season for the Mastodons (1-2-0). The match opened up an afternoon double-header at Hefner Field with the IPFW men’s soccer team hosting Western Michigan in the second game of the day.
The six goals by the home team tied for second-most in program history and marked just the fifth time IPFW had accomplished the feat. The last time the Mastodons recorded six scores in a single game was eight years ago to the day against NJIT in 2006. The total was also one goal shy of the team single-game record of seven, which came in a 7-0 victory over Delaware State in 2005.
After going scoreless through the first two matches of the 2014 campaign and trailing twice during the first half of game three, the Mastodons used five second-half goals to earn the win in a shootout that saw 10 goals in total.
While the Blue and White had fallen victim to slow starts in its previous games, the lady ‘Dons didn’t let that happen against the Norse as they came out with intensity on both sides of the ball from the opening whistle.
The match stayed even for the first 25 minutes, with each squad getting chances in front of the net and both goalkeepers making saves to keep it scoreless. The Norse, however, were able to strike first, finding the net in the 27th minute. NKU’s Kelsey Laumann sent a ball from the right corner that slipped past the Mastodons’ defenders and found the foot of Norse forward Macy Hamblin. The freshman didn’t hesitate on the shot and quickly found the right-corner of the net just out of the reach of IPFW goalkeeper Sam Pavlika (Temperance, Mich.).
IPFW didn’t wait long to respond, putting together an offensive sequence that resulted in the ‘Dons first goal in 2014 in the 30th minute. The attack started with a pass to forward Kallianne Mogler (Mendota Heights, Mich.), who dribbled it past the Norse defense into the far right corner. The freshman then crossed a perfectly-placed ball in front of the goal that found the head of sophomore forward Gaby Romo (Goshen, Ind.), who knocked it past Norse keeper Tanner Ruberg to even the score at one.
The back-and-forth play continued as the Norse countered with a goal of its own just a minute later. After NKU midfielder Jaclyn Elmore crossed a ball from the deep right corner, Pavlika fully extended at the front post in an attempt to knock the ball over the top of the crossbar. Instead of sailing out of bounds, the ball landed right in front of the goal line, where Norse midfielder Katelyn Newton battled two IPFW defenders to finish the goal and retake the lead 2-1.
Trailing at halftime, the ‘Dons came out firing in the second period, evening the score at 2 in the 45th minute off the foot of forward Rachel Good (Walled Lake, Mich.). After taking the ball from a NKU defender, the junior dribbled past two more and launched a rocket at the upper center of the net that had little chance of being saved by Ruberg.
A little over 15 minutes later, IPFW took its first lead of the young season after junior defender Victoria Pepper (Dexter, Mich.) placed a precision pass forward to the foot of freshman Taylor Pavlika, who looked like a veteran as she calmly knocked it in from 10 yards out.
From there, the offensive onslaught was on for both teams as they combined for five goals over the final 20 minutes of play. The bizarre sequence started with another goal for the ‘Dons, who used an impressive cross and volley between forwards Andie Lazzerini (West Chicago, Ill.) and Lindsey Swope (Novi, Mich.) to extend the lead to 4-2 in the 69th minute.
Over a period of six minutes after Swope’s goal, the two teams traded turns finding the back of the net, with NKU’s Elizabeth Wittwer and Morgan Shafer scoring in the 71st and 73rd minutes, respectively.
Mogler, who had earned the assist on IPFW’s first score, was responsible for the last two goals for the Mastodons, which proved to be the final margin.
After Wittwer’s goal for NKU brought the Norse within one at 4-3, sophomore midfielder Mayson Whitman (Fort Wayne, Ind.) pushed the ball up the right sideline and sent a well-placed cross from just outside the right 18-yard box, hitting Mogler’s foot for a routine shot and score to put the margin back at two in the 73rd minute.
While the Norse cut the deficit back to one just 30 seconds later, Mogler was able to give the ‘Dons some breathing room in the 76th minute as she stole the ball away from a NKU defender, took a couple of quick touches and blasted home the goal from the middle of the 18-yard box. The freshman, playing in just her third collegiate game, came up big with four shots, two goals and one assist to lead all Mastodons on the day.
IPFW has a big challenge ahead as they hit the road for two tough non-conference matchups next weekend, taking on Michigan State on Friday, September 5 at 5 p.m. and then heading to Butler for a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday, September 7.