By Josh Bennett
The CSUB women’s soccer team (3-9-1, 2-3-1 WAC) survived a double overtime thriller on Friday against the New Mexico State Aggies with a final score of 2-1. Freshman forward Hedda Regefalk added to an earlier assist, as she scored the game winner with 1:56 remaining in the second overtime via an assist from senior midfielder Erica Shelton.
The game-winning goal came at a crucial, yet surprising point in the game, as both teams were slugging it out for the final minutes of the second half and both overtime periods. After a first half goal from junior forward Emily Noethe, that was assisted by Regefalk and junior defender Taylor French, in the first half, the ‘Runners had complete control of the game, which was evident by their 8-3 shot advantage in the first half.
“I saw Erica [Shelton] out wide, and I ran towards the goal in hopes that she could play me. I haven’t scored in a long time, so it felt really good, and I chose the right moment to score,” said Regefalk on her game winning goal.
“I think it was absolute heart and will that they got that goal in the second overtime, they kept pushing, they kept trying to play our style of play that makes us successful and I commend them for that,” said Head Coach Melissa Phillips.
The Aggies came out fighting in the second half, aggressively taking control of the game. Closing the shot gap, the Aggies evened things out with a goal of their own at the beginning of the second half. Things continued to go downhill for the ‘Runners, who missed out on key scoring opportunities, after cooling off the aggressive Aggies.
“We just made it a little bit too difficult on ourselves, we had a lapse in focus in the first five minutes of the second half, but for a large majority of the game, we were the better team,” said Phillips. “Luckily, we were able to weather their momentum.”
The ‘Runners’ hopes were nearly crushed late in the second half, when an Aggie shot ricocheted off the top crossbar, but the ball was eventually cleared, leaving the window of opportunity open for the ‘Runners.
However, with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation, Regefalk scored the potential game winner, but the goal was waived off due to a CSUB foul.
Despite great goalkeeping from redshirt sophomore goalie Tori Ornela, she sprained her elbow in the second half, which caused Phillips to hand the reigns over to freshman goalkeeper Megan Vina for the overtime periods.
This proved to be a key substitution for the `Runners, as Vina made a key save early in the first overtime. An Aggies’ shot was deflected by Vina, which allowed the ‘Runners to stay alive in order to tally the game winner in the next overtime period.
“I’m glad I got the chance, because I know that I can come up with the big save, and I just wanted to prove myself to CSUB,” said Vina.
‘We’re very confident in our backup goalkeeper, she’s a freshman, but she’s proven herself time and time again when she goes in to play, and has done a fantastic job,’ said Phillips
The ‘Runners outshot the Aggies 19-17, but also had 19 fouls in the game. However, the `Runners had eight saves as a team, many of which were late key saves which kept the game alive. The ‘Runners will travel to Idaho on Friday, Oct. 18 and will then head to Seattle on Sunday, Oct. 20.