“Today was crushing, it was an absolutely crushing loss,” stated SUU head coach Becky Hogan. “We are a better team than we show. We are done learning these lessons over-and-over again, so now we are in a position where we can start building for next year.”
The match remained scoreless until the final 20 minutes when Northern Colorado forward Shanlie Anderson gathered the ball in the box and fired it into the net to put the Bears out in front 1-0.
The Thunderbirds trailed with less than 10 minutes remaining when freshman Logan Harker broke away behind the UNC defense and headed a shot over the charging goalkeeper Natalie D’Adamio at the top of the box. The Bears cleared the ball at the goal line, but D’Adamio was given a red card for running through Harker and not playing the ball. Hernandez put away the ensuing penalty kick to pull the score even at 1-1.
“It was a heroic effort by Logan Harker, she is just a kid that refuses to give up,” commented Hogan. “Sabrina has been playing great lately, she really wanted to win it and was going to do whatever it took.”
The game headed into overtime with Northern Colorado down a player due to the ejection. SUU had several solid scoring opportunities in the extra period, but was unable to convert any of the tries. The Bears were eventually awarded a free kick within striking range following a Southern Utah penalty. Ambree Bellin sent the ball into the box where it was redirected on goal by Day for the game-winner.
Both teams attempted 12 shots in the contest with five tries on goal. Northern Colorado held a 7-2 advantage on corner kicks. Both sides drew several cautions as the Thunderbirds collected five yellow cards while the Bears picked up to yellows and one red. Hernandez’ goal was her third of the season, tying her for the team lead with Nancy Brich. Sophomore goalkeeper Tessa Christensen recorded three saves while making her seventh appearance in goal this year.
Southern Utah closes out the season with road matches at Eastern Washington and Montana this week. The Thunderbirds will visit the Eagles on Friday at 4:00 p.m. (MT) followed by a matchup with the Grizzlies on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Coverage of SUU soccer is available on www.suutbirds.com.