Adriana Santiago (Souderton, PA/Christopher Dock) and Jenessa Derstine (Harleysville, PA/Christopher Dock) teamed up for two goals, including the game winner with 1:46 left in the first overtime, as EMU earned a dramatic ODAC Tournament Quarterfinal win over Bridgewater Sunday afternoon. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but was moved to Sunday because of snow.
The Lady Royals controlled the first 35 minutes and took an early lead on their home field just 11:11 in. The speedy Derstine dribbled to the goal line and centered a pass which Santiago sent home to put EMU up 1-0.
The women nearly added a second goal late in the half, but Nicole Bencsik (Telford, PA/Souderton) had a shot from a corner come out off the post, and a minute later she flipped a backside one-timer just wide.
Bridgewater regrouped and earned a corner as time expired in the half. Joan Burleson drilled the long shot off the corner to tie the game at 1-1 at the break.
Santiago helped the women take the lead back just 2:44 into the second as she dribbled up the right side and sent a cross to a wide open Michelle Zook (Allensville, PA/Belleville Mennonite) for an easy goal. But the Eagles had a quick answer, getting a score from Jennifer Bateman less than two minutes later to tie it up again.
The Lady Royals continued to have an advantage on the field, but the game stayed precariously tied.
Bridgewater nearly broke through, but Mary Beth Danaher (Matoaca, VA/Matoaca) made a great save on a breakaway with nine minutes left. On the resulting corner, EMU dodged another bullet when a shot from outside of the circle hit the cage, but no one touched it along the way.
The women earned a handful of corners in the final minutes, but couldn’t make one stick and the game went into seven-on-seven extra time.
Overtime was full of excitement as both goalies made great saves. Bencsik hit another shot of the post before Derstine found Santiago for the game winner, giving EMU its second consecutive ODAC Quarterfinal win over the Eagles. The women beat BC 2-1 in the same round last fall.
Also like last year, the Lady Royals (10-10) advance to the semifinals to take on top-seeded Lynchburg on Wednesday. The Hornets, ranked No. 3 in the Kookaburra/NFHCA national poll, have won five straight ODAC titles.
The Lady Royals had a 25-12 edge in shots, including 6-3 in the overtime period. Danaher finished with five saves.