Sept. 13 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s soccer team used goals by junior Michaela Hinerman (Weirton, W.Va./Brooke) and senior Brittany Fullbright (Wadsworth, Ohio) to build a cushion and then held off a late rally to record a 2-1 victory over visiting LaRoche (Pa.) College Tuesday afternoon at sun-splashed Hoag Field.
The triumph is the second in a row for the Bison, who improve to 2-3 on the year. The victory also reversed a tough result from a year ago for BC, who dropped a 7-1 decision at LaRoche in 2015. The Redhawks fell to 3-2 with the setback.
It didn’t take long for Bethany to grab the lead in the match. In the fifth minute, senior Sarah London (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central) played a through ball from midfield that found Hinerman, who slipped behind the defense. The junior striker took a couple touches and went to the lower right post with a shot that eluded LeRoche keeper Jessica Welka for a 1-0 Green and White lead.
Although LaRoche would outshoot Bethany 9-6 in the opening half, the visitors had very few quality chances against a strong Bison defense. What attempts did get through, BC junior keeper Anna Riddle (Mt. Pleasant, Pa.) stopped four to keep it a 1-0 score at halftime.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were controlled by the Redhawks, who managed three shots and had three corners. The Bison defense continued to stand tall, blocking two of the attempts with Riddle making a save on the third attempt. The tide turned for the next 10 minutes, as Bethany took the momentum and turned it into a second goal.
In the 62nd minute, Fullbright created an opportunity that led to a quality shot by sophomore Lexie Metz (Frostburg, Md./Mountain Ridge), which was stopped. A few minutes later, a strong Bison push led to a foul just outside the box, giving BC a free kick. London, who had two assists in the match, delivered a solid cross towards the far right post, which found Fullbright, who headed it home for the goal and a 2-0 Bison lead at the 63:05 mark.
Bethany would keep the visitors at bay for the next 15 minutes, but LaRoche’s attack picked up over the final 12 minutes. The Redhawks would fire off nine shots down the stretch, including a string of three straight in a 15-second span in the 81st minute. Two of those were blocked by BC defenders and the third soared high, as Bethany maintained its two-goal advantage.
The Redhawks would finally break through with less than five minutes to play. Bethany tried to clear the zone, but a clear attempt went to LaRoche’s Morgan Bullock, who gathered it in and lifted a shot from about 35 yards out just over Riddle to slice the Bison lead in half at 2-1.
LaRoche would push for the equalizer in the closing minutes, managing two shots in the final minute, but one went wide and Riddle stopped the final attempt with 26 seconds to play and Bethany held on for the victory. Riddle finished the match with nine saves, while the BC defense totaled six blocked shots to assist their goalkeeper.
The Bison will try to extend their winning streak to three straight games, which would be their longest since 2011, when they host Penn State –Altoona Friday afternoon. The match will kickoff at 5 pm at Hoag Field.