Bethel women flirt with upset
The Bethel College women’s soccer team was just a break or two away from a major upset.
Tied 1-1, ninth-ranked (NAIA) Oklahoma Wesleyan scored two goals in the last 10 minutes of play to hand the Threshers a 3-1 loss Wednesday night in KCAC play at Thresher Stadium.
“We played really, really well,” Bethel coach Alex Hagen said. “That was one of the top teams in the nation. We frustrated them. Their first goal was an own goal from our own mistake. We were a bit unlucky, but we kept playing. They showed their quality with a pair of goals at the end. Their were a ton of positives to take away from this one. To see them play so well after struggling in the last two. I think this team has found its identity and moving forward.”
A Bethel player inadvertently knocked in an OWU corner kick in the 63rd minute, but Bethel’s Claire Hedlund scored on a breakaway in the 76th minute to even the score.
Marjolen Nekesa scored on a long shot from Tania Mocholi in the 81st minute to put the Eagles back in the lead. Valaria Pankratova scored in the 89th minute on a direct kick.
A Bethel shot in the closing seconds was saved.
Mariah Vallejo had 10 saves in goal for Bethel. Nerea Perez Mora had three saves for OWU, 12-1 overall and 8-0 in KCAC play.
Bethel is 6-5-2, 2-3-2 in KCAC play. The Threshers play at noon Saturday at Ottawa.
“We played most of the top teams in the conference in the first half (of the season),” Hagen said. “That doesn’t mean that we’re just going to get games. You’d like to think that we’ll be favored in a few of those games in the second half. … Hopefully, we can get a good run and carry that into the playoffs.”
1. OW own goal 62:21
2. BC Claire Hedlund (unassisted) 75:54
3. OW Marjolen Nekesa (Tania Mocholi) 80:08
4. OW Valaria Pankratova (unassisted) 88:16
Total shots — OW 10-15—25, BC 2-6—8. Shots on goal — OW 3-10—13, BC 1-3—4. Saves — OW: Nerea Perez Mora (W) 1-2—3. BC: Mariah Vallejo (L) 3-7—10. Corner kicks — OW 2, BC 2. Fouls — OW 11, BC 11. Offside — OW 2, BC 0. Cautions — none.