SHREVEPORT, La. – Apparently so far in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play in 2018, a 2-0 deficit provides momentum for the Ladies.
The Ladies fell behind 2-0 in the second half, tied the game near the end of regulation, and won on a penalty kick about halfway through the first overtime as Centenary (4-0, 2-0 SCAC) ended a four-game losing streak to Schreiner (1-2-1, 0-1-0) with a 3-2 (OT) win Sunday afternoon (September 9) at CE Byrd High School.
"I'm really proud of the fight today in general," said head coach Greg Cathell. "We've overcome a lot of adversity very early this season, and I really believe we can continue to learn from our mistakes and keep getting better."
After Schreiner scored a pair of second half goals and led 2-0 in the 55th minute, Centenary went on the attack and out shot the Mountaineers 8-1 for the rest of the contest. It started in the 66th minute, when sophomore Pamela Fonseca threaded the ball through to junior Kyra Montes, who found the back of the net to cut the deficit in half.
In the 76th minute, freshman Kat Martinez's chance hit the post. Two minutes later, Montes put a pair of shots on target that were both saved – the last by the Mountaineers' defense. After Schreiner put its lone shot on goal in the final 40 minutes, which was saved by sophomore Maggie Pitcher, the Ladies quickly countered and scored the equalizer in the 83rd minute. Freshman Amy Moreno hit a through ball that found Montes. Montes touched and beat the keeper for the score in a wide open net.
Centenary put a pair of shots on goal in the final five minutes of regulation, but could not score the game-winner.
In the 95th minute, Schreiner's Lindsey Fitz fouled junior Betzabet Bravo in the box to give Centenary its first penalty kick of 2018. Montes scored her third goal of the game, and conference-leading sixth goal of the season, to record the fourth Centenary hat trick in the non-scholarship era – the first in three years.
Montes finished with more shots (nine) than Schreiner took total in the game (five) to take over the conference lead in shots taken. Seven of Montes' shots finished on target.
While Montes filled the stat sheet in the game, Coach Cathell was quick to praise other players for their great play.
"Kyra was special for us today. She's the real deal in the offensive third and really came up big for us. (Junior) Serena Gallegos really came up big in 1v1 defense today and is really coming into her own this season as a central player. (Junior) Emilee Byrd was incredibly key in the midfield as well. She's one of the most overlooked players in the conference, but one of the most valuable. We go when Emilee gets us going, and she really did that today with a good work rate, great anticipation of taking away passing lanes when defending, and getting into the attack for us.
"All in all, it was an incredible team effort as we move on to our next opponent," added Cathell.
Pitcher grabbed both shots faced in 85 minutes in goal for the win for Centenary, while Schreiner stopped 10-of-13 shots faced, including nine by goalkeeper Jordon Toso.
Schreiner scored the first goal of the game in the 47th minute when Marissa Wheeler put a corner kick far post that Fitz headed into the goal. In the 55th minute, Julia Saavedra scored directly off a free kick.
With the Ladies completing a perfect weekend, Centenary's 4-0 start is its best in the NCAA Division III era and the best overall since starting 5-0 in 2009. The Ladies are also 2-0 on the season against teams chosen to finish higher than them in the SCAC Preseason Poll.
Also with the Ladies win Friday night, it ended an 11-game winless streak against Texas Lutheran and the first Centenary win ever against the Bulldogs in a conference game.
The Ladies have also trailed in the second half in three of four games this season.
"It's still early, but this group seems to be incredibly special. Special in their play, special in how much they care about one another, and a special WILL to win," said Cathell.
Centenary completes its five-game home stand this Tuesday, September 11, when the Ladies host Dallas. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.