Freshman Yoswa plays hero in Soccer's 2-2 draw
GREELEY – The Northern Colorado women's soccer team battled Drake to a 2-2 tie at Jackson Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Despite falling behind early again, the Bears (2-5-2) battled back and got even with the help of a freshman's late-game heroics.
In the 88th minute, Bears first-year player Madison Yoswa was called upon by coach Tim Barrera to take a free-kick from just a few yards outside the penalty area. Yoswa, an Aurora native, calmly stepped up and nailed home her first goal as a Bear, sending a shot past the outstretched arms of Bulldogs goalkeeper Kalena Litch and evening the score at two goals apiece.
"We got off to a bit of a slow start and let up that early goal," Barrera said, "but I am proud of the fight-back effort we gave. Drake played a double-overtime game in Wyoming on Friday, so we knew it was only a matter of time before they ran out of gas. I feel like we should have scored in the overtime period, we just couldn't find one.
"We've struggled a bit all year with finishing. We have been creating lots of opportunities; we just need to really focus on finishing goals. It's frustrating to get so many chances in a game, yet not be able to finish. "
For the third straight game, the Bears got down early when the Bulldogs (2-3-4) got a goal from Laura Moklestad in just the 14th minute. The goal came after Drake's Danielle Figliola managed to pop a ball up that found the foot of Moklestad, who lifted a shot over the head of Bears goalkeeper Kirstin Salminen.
The score remained 1-0 for the rest of the half, as both teams couldn't find many scoring opportunities.
In the second half, Northern Colorado began to put more pressure on the Drake defense until Tara Rickenbach got into the box on a corner kick and pulled the Bears even. Rickenbach, a sophomore, took a corner-kick from Yoswa and finished for her first career goal.
Drake answered right back though in the 67th minute, when Ashlie Stokes put the Bulldogs up 2-1 by taking a Kiah Swanson pass and beating Salminen to the lower-right corner of the net.
After Yoswa's dramatic late equalizer, the Bears took control of the two overtime periods, but just could not find the winner. Yoswa had a number of chances, including a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar late in the second overtime, but couldn't find the back of the net.
After outshooting the Bulldogs by just two in the first half, the Bears finished the game with a 19 shot advantage. Their 34 total shots were the most a Bear team has had since 2008.
Northern Colorado will enjoy a week off, before taking on South Dakota at Jackson Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 25. The game is set to begin at noon.