Huskers Hand Hokies First Loss in Comeback Win
Blacksburg, Va. - Stacy Bartels' goal in the second overtime period capped a dramatic 4-3 comeback win over previously undefeated No. 25 Virginia Tech by the Nebraska soccer team on Friday night at the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational. Jordan Jackson scored her fifth and sixth goals of the season, and Morgan Marlborough scored her eighth goal of the year with less than 10 minutes left in regulation to propel the Huskers to their first overtime win and victory over a ranked team in 2011.
The Huskers, who were winless through the first three games of the season, have now won three straight and have scored a combined 18 goals in the three wins after scoring just four goals in the first three games of the year. Head Coach John Walker's offense has taken off behind the scoring of Marlborough and Jackson, who have combined for 13 goals in NU's last four games.
"It was a massive road win and comeback against a terrific team," Walker said. " It was one of the most exciting games that I have seen in my 18 seasons here. The players' mental strength was severely tested when we were 3-1 down. Our pressing ability and determination got us back in the game. Virginia Tech will clearly be a NCAA tournament team, so this was a vital win for us."
The Hokies struck first on the night at 33:31 with a header by Kelly Conheeney off a cross from Kelsey Mitchell. It didn't take the Huskers long to answer, as Jackson put in a perfect chip shot from 35 yards less than a minute later over Hokie goalie Anna Romeiser to tie the game. Each team would get off two other shots on goal in the half, but Husker goalie Emma Stevens and Rosmeiser would hold their ground.
It didn't take long for the home squad to retake the lead in the second half, as Ashley Manning and Jazmine Reeves set up Anne Lumpkin for her second goal of the season at 51:59 to give VT the lead 2-1. Manning then added her first goal of the year at 63:05 to give the Hokies a commanding 3-1 lead with just over 25 minutes left in regulation.
Time was starting to run out on the Huskers and they had yet to attempt a shot on goal in the second half until Jackson struck at 78:51 to cut the Hokies' lead to 3-2. Marlborough then put the team on her back and put in the equalizer at 82:03 on a shot from 20 yards out. The goal tied a career high for Marlborough, as the Lee's Summit native has scored a goal in four straight games for the second time in her career.
The Huskers kept attacking in the first overtime with two shots on goal, but was unable to get the ball in the net. The ball finally dropped in just under three minutes into the second overtime when Marlborough was denied by the crossbar, but Bartels was right there for the rebound to complete the Husker comeback.
Nebraska will look to continue its winning ways on Sunday when they take on the No. 18 Wake Forest at 10:30 a.m. (CT) for the tournament title. The Demon Deacons are 5-1-0 on the season, including a 3-0 win over Loyola on Friday. There will be no live stream of the game, but live stats will be available at hokiesports.com.