Randy Speer, The Circuit
No. 7 Westmont travelled the nearly 1,500 miles from California to Atchison, Kansas with one goal in mind – knocking off the No. 4 Benedictine women’s soccer team on its home turf.
They left Saturday night with a 4-2 victory.
“We knew when we knew it was going to be a classic where it came down to late in the second half,” Benedictine coach Lincoln Roblee said. “It did and hopefully we can be on the positive end of it next time.”
With scored tied in the tail end of the second half, Benedictine had a pair of chances to defend their No. 4 national ranking, but came up empty.
The Lady nearly took the lead in the 74th minute when freshman Sydney Routh snuck a header past Westmont goalie Amber Rojas, but the play was disallowed on an off sides call.
Junior Rosie McShane almost had her second goal of the game when she tried to go bar down from 20-yards out just a minute late, reminiscent of the Ashley Chandler overtime goal against Spring Arbor to start last season. McShane’s shot however bounced back into play, transitioning into a Westmont goal by Maddi Berthoud in the 77th minute, giving the Warriors the 3-2 lead.
The Warriors tacked on an insurance goal five minutes later for good measure as Haley Parzonko tapped in a cross by Destinee Adams.
“This is not going to be a game where we have the ball eighty percent of the time and that’s been the case a lot,” Roblee said. “This was going to be a game that was more fifty-fifty.”
The Lady Raven’s patented high octane offense was in full effect to start the match as junior Madison Sanders grabbed the first goal of the year just 44 seconds into the game off an assist by senior Liz Intfen.
The Warriors answered back with a pair of goals from Brooke Lillywhite in the 26th and 34th minute.
The second goal came on a quick kick out of a free kick situation. Junior goalie Ellen Loughman was trying to direct the wall into position when Lillywhite snapped off her shot.
Westmont took the 2-1 lead into the break, but the Lady Ravens were able to find an equalizer coming out of the break.
McShane found the back of the next off a pass from sophomore Anna Romano in the 50th minute to push the game back into a tie.
Benedictine mixed in four freshman during the season opener.
“I wanted this to be a game where we got some people’s feet wet,” Roblee said.
The Lady Ravens return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday on the road against Missouri Baptist.