-University of Memphis
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Kaitlyn Atkins blasted a shot from 30 yards just under the cross bar to give No. 22 Memphis (9-3-0, 5-0-0 C-USA) a hard-fought 2-1 overtime victory at Colorado College (7-3-4, 2-2-1 C-USA) on Friday.
Memphis grabbed the early lead with a 2nd minute goal by Christabel Oduro, but the relentless attack by Colorado College resulted in the equalizer in the 72nd minute. Atkins late strike handed Colorado College their second loss in one-goal decisions (4-2-1), but improved Memphis to a perfect 3-0-0 in overtime.
Taylor Isenhower gathered the ball at midfield and served the ball to the right side to set up Atkins for a run down the side line or a shot. Atkins elected for the shot and blasted it from 30 yards to the right side of the frame and slipped it just underneath the crossbar for the golden goal.
Oduro raced ahead of the Colorado College defense to catch up with a clear by the Memphis defense. Not only did she catch up to it, she struck for her 10th goal of the season to give the U of M a 1-0 lead in the second minute. With the goal, Oduro moves into sole possession of fourth all-time with 29 career goals. The goal moves her one point shy of tying Shoko Mikami for fourth in career points with 76.
After Memphis cleared away a Colorado College corner, the U of M had a corner of their own minutes later. Kaitlyn Atkins served the high-arcing kick into the box and Kelley Gravlin’s header was too high. Five minutes later, Atkins again found herself as the center of attention as she ripped a shot from eight yards away, but that shot hit the post.
Memphis goalkeeper Christa Strickland faced her first test of the match in the 19th minute as Hannah Peterson blasted a shot from 15 yards toward the goal. Strickland made the save, the first of two in the first half.
Colorado College came into the match averaging nearly eight corner kicks a game and they reached the average early, earning eight corner kicks in a span of four minutes. In the 35th minute, Madison Whitehead served the first corner and Jessie Ayers was able to get a shot off toward the right post. Strickland made the lunging dive to her left to stop the shot, but the deflection resulted in a corner. Colorado College had two shots off the eight corners in the 35th through 39th minutes.
A breakaway opportunity was snuffed out by Strickland in the 62nd minute as she won the race to the ball at the top of the box. The Lady Tigers defense let the Colorado College defense slip the ball past them, but Strickland caught up to it before the opposition could.
Colorado College equalized in the 72nd minute as Whitehead blasted a free kick from 20 yards past the Memphis wall for the goal.
With under three minutes to play, Kylie Davis was fed the ball at the top of the box and she slipped through two defenders to get a chance at a goal. Colorado College goalkeeper Kate Scheele was able to re-direct the shot and force a corner kick that her defense cleared away.
In the third minute of overtime, Memphis passed the ball efficiently and found Emily Adamic on the left side of the box with a great opportunity to score. Adamic was unable to get a shot off as Scheele came out of net and forced a corner kick on the deflection.
Colorado College out-shot Memphis 11-9 on the game, but Memphis had a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal. Colorado College finished with 15 corner kicks to Memphis’ four. Strickland ended the chilly afternoon with three saves as did Scheele.
Memphis improves to 40-7-6 in October matches since 2006 and is unbeaten in its last 18 (14-0-4). The Lady Tigers also are unbeaten in their last eight C-USA road matches, sporting a 7-0-1 mark. Overall, Memphis is now 22-3-3 in C-USA road matches on the road since 2007 and 37-8-3 in all road games in that span.
The U of M continues the road trip at UTEP for a Sunday afternoon tilt against the Miners at 2 p.m. (CT). Memphis has failed to win both matches on the Colorado College and UTEP road trip, but has the chance to reverse the trend on Sunday.