Lewis & Clark finds its way in overtime

Lewis & Clark finds its way in overtime

The pass came from Senate Letsie so perfectly, all Lewis & Clark's Kassidy Louvall had to do was get her toe on it to send it into the net … And touch off the celebration.

Louvall's goal, with 5:30 remaining in the first overtime, gave the Trailblazers a 3-2 victory over Georgia Military College on the second day of pool play at the NJCAA Women's Soccer National Championship tournament at Eastern Florida State College.

"I didn't even look (at the ball)," Louvall said of her game-winning goal. "I just kicked with my toe as hard as I could and it went in. … I screamed. I put my hands up. I was just so excited, so full of energy. It's awesome."

It was an emotional win for sure for the Trailblazers (18-2), who led 2-0 at the half on goals by Louvall and Letsie, but also missed on a couple of point blank scoring opportunities and also failed to convert several breakaways.

Georgia Military College would tie the game at 2-2 on goals by Morgan Green and Adisa Nwawel (her nation-leading 40th goal of the season), and the Bulldogs appeared to have all the momentum going into overtime.

That is, until the Trailblazers (18-2) found their game again.

"Once they scored the first goal and the second goal, we kind of panicked," Louvall said. "But after we came together off to the side, we were like, 'Guys, we're LC. We don't lose. We're going to win.'

"So as soon as we got together, we were like, 'We're going to play as a team, we're going to pass the ball around and we're going to score.' So we did. That's how we play."

Louvall and Lewis & Clark coach Tim Rooney said they were a little uneasy despite their 2-0 halftime lead because of those missed chances.

"I thought we really played well in the first half," Rooney said. "We missed those chances and I said, 'I hope that doesn't come to bite us.' And in the second half, the wheels came off and they (Georgia Military) played better.

"Anybody that's getting here is going to be a good team, and you can't beat a good team by taking minutes off, and we took some minutes off in the second half. But they forced us to play bad."

Still, Rooney was happy with the way his team responded in overtime, and how the Trailblazers played overall despite missing top score Audrey Andrzejewski, who was injured in the district final.

Georgia Military College coach Courtney Morgan, meanwhile, was happy with the way her team was able to fight back in the second half.

"We changed the formation up a little, just to put a high pressure on the attack," Morgan said. "That really helped with our scoring opportunities. I'm proud of my girls for not giving up. They fought until the end."

Lewis & Clark will make its bid for the national semifinals on Wednesday when it takes on No. 1 Phoenix College (22-0-1) in a 10 a.m. game.

Georgia Military College fell to 0-2 in pool play.

The next step for the Bulldogs (14-4-1) will be to build off their first-ever trip to the national tournament.

"We definitely can build off of it," Morgan said. "We have three sophomores, so we have a young team and a very eager team. A lot of girls stepped up today because we did have a few injuries to work around. It was good to see some different players play today. Everyone played well.

"I told them at the end to keep their heads up. They left it on the field."