After allowing a late goal with just over five minutes remaining to tie the game, the Rock women’s soccer team (3-2) rallied to score the game winner with just 34 seconds remaining to defeat California University 2-1 Tuesday afternoon.
“I had actually told the girls at the 80th minute to just be smart with the ball,” Slippery Rock head coach Jessica Griggs said. “With about six minutes left the game, we decide to flight a ball into the box for service and corner. I think the second we gave the ball away the girls knew I was not going to be too excited about it. I tell the girls all time that they can’t just play for 89 minutes and 50 seconds, they must play for a full 90 minutes and a 10 second mental lapse almost got us.”
The team took no time trying to get the goal back, as junior forward Dara Demich scored the go ahead goal on a late breakaway and firing a shot to the lower left part of the net past Vulcan junior goalkeeper Meghan Jayes.
“It all happened so fast,” Demich said. “I saw the ball go to Andrea’s feet and I knew she’d be able to flick it to me. I ended up with the breakaway and was able to score the goal to win.”
Demich was also involved in SRU’s first goal of the game in the 34th minute of the first half by assisting junior forward Andrea Felix. The goal was Felix’s fifth of the season, which is second among all Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) women’s soccer players.
Demich’s goal was her third of the season, and her fifth career goal against Cal U, including three game winners.
As a team, SRU held the advantage in total shots (15-6), and shots on goal (6-3). Despite being out shot by The Rock, the Vulcans had more corner kick attempts (4-3).
“We’ve out shot and out possessed every team that we’ve played this season,” Griggs said. “Next week we will have to focus on game management and taking advantage of opportunities and putting the ball in the back of the net. We keep out possessing and out shooting and not scoring, and all of these close games are eventually going to make me go grey.”
Freshman goalkeeper Charlotte Elrod played the entire 90 minutes of the contest for Slippery Rock. Elrod allowed just one goal, and made two saves.
The Rock continues its season Saturday, hosting rival Indiana Univeristy (Pa.) (2-2-1) in an afternoon match at James Egli Field. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.