Dramatic Late Rally Propels Field Hockey to First Conference Win
Alyssa Hile's (Wildwood, Mo.) overtime goal capped a late Missouri State field hockey comeback, as they scored a crucial conference win, 3-2 over the Ohio University Bobcats at Plaster Field.
Trailing 2-0 with less than ten minutes to play in regulation, the Bears rallied behind senior Melissa Lantz (Wildwood, Mo.). On the heels of her hat trick Friday against Kent State, Lantz scored in the 61st minute to cut the lead in half and again in the 65th minute to tie the game. The former came on an unassisted shot from 11 yards out while the latter was from five yards away on a cross from freshman Kristina O'Connor (Fort Worth, Texas).
Hile's heroics came 11 minutes in to the extra session. After Lantz gained control of a lose ball and fed her in the middle, Hile shot from ten yards away. The ball scooted in the right side of the goal to put the Bears on the right side of the scoreboard.
"I think this win really boosts are confidence," said Hile. "They are a really good team and it is a good way to start conference play."
With the late comebacks today and Friday against Kent State, a 6-3 loss in which the Bears scored three times in the second half to cut the lead to one with five minutes to play, the Bears showed the kind of resiliency that had been lacking.
"We found the fight," said head coach Dawn Callahan. "Last year's team would have quit. This year's team showed they are different."
Callahan credits that fight to the three seniors out on the field, Lantz, Hile and defender Molly Busch (San Jose, Calif.).
"I am really happy and pleased with the way our seniors stepped up this weekend," said Callahan. "This is what we have been waiting for them to do."
Lantz, whose five goals in the last two games move her in to a tie for 11th on the all-time goals list with 31, said the team wanted to come out and show that this will be a different type of year for the Bears in the MAC.
"It proves to every one that we do belong in the top half of the MAC," said Lantz. "This win shows where this program is going."
Her fellow Wildwood native agreed. "They underestimate us," said Hile.
The Bears hit the road when they play Thursday, at Saint Louis. It will be a rematch from earlier this season when MSU won in dominating fashion, 7-0. The Bears improve to 3-7, 1-1 in the MAC, while the Bobcats fall to 2-6, 0-1 in the MAC.