With minutes left in overtime, senior Kyle O’Brien found himself in a pressure situation with the ball and the game coming down to the wire. The men’s soccer team was about to win their second game in GSAC.
As the clock ran down, O’Brien set up the play for the winning goal. He came down the left side and crossed the ball perfectly to the middle of the field in the 98th minute. Junior Andrew Sullivan received the pass and headed the ball into the goal to win the game on September 29th against Hope International, 2-1.
Previous to overtime, junior Josh Banta had the opportunity to put the Lions ahead with a free kick eight minutes into the game. He was able to boot the ball over the opposing goalkeeper to put the Lions on the board, 1-0. This was Banta’s first goal ever for the Lions.
Hope tied the game later in the first half when Mario Perez scored. But Vanguard didn’t give in as they attempted to score on another free kick with just 20 minutes remaining in the game. Unfortunately, O’Brien wasn’t able to fool the goalkeeper, sending the game into overtime.
The Lions ended up achieving the victory after Sullivan’s overtime goal, improving their record to 2-0 in GSAC. The Lions are 4-5-1 overall (as of October 3rd) and Hope is now 0-2 in conference play.
The Women’s soccer team also dominated against Hope and earned the victory on the road. In the 30th minute, junior Jordan Davidson crossed the ball to the middle. Her pass found junior Sarah Warner, who was able to get her head on the ball to knock it into the goal. This gave Vanguard a 1-0 lead.
Soon after the first goal, Davidson set up the play again, only this time her pass was to junior Kayla Arenas, who blasted a shot right past the goalkeeper, putting Vanguard up 2-0 going into halftime.
Toward the end of the game, senior Amanda Couch helped freshman Ashley McCutcheon score her first goal for Vanguard. Couch booted the ball to McCutcheon on a corner kick and McCutcheon headed it to score Vanguard’s third and final goal of the game. “It was amazing to score because I’m a freshman. My teammates were really excited and happy for me,” McCutcheon said.
The women’s soccer victory over Hope put their record at 2-0 in GSAC and improved their overall record to 6-2 (as of October 3rd).
These victories for the Lions have helped them set their eyes on the goal of winning the conference and going even further after that. Director of Soccer Randy Dodge was very happy with both the men’s and women’s teams’ performances against Hope. He was proud that the men were able to battle into overtime and that the women took advantage of their opportunities to score.
The Lions hope to make it to the GSAC tournament once again and advance on to the NAIA National Tournament later this year.