34-19-5 (.650) mark over past three seasons
ORANGE CITY — Forward Emily Saville (Cedar Rapids, Linn-Mar) headed in a last-minute pass to give the Central College women’s soccer team a dramatic 3-2 triumph at Northwestern College Tuesday.
With just 31 seconds remaining, Saville knocked home a perfectly delivered cross from midfielder Alyssa Fuller (junior, Marshalltown) for the deciding score. It was her second goal of the season.
“It was a fantastic finish,” coach Mike Kobylinski said. “It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had as a coach.”
Forward Alayna Bailey (junior, Des Moines, Hoover HS) had given Central (6-2) a 2-1 lead with a pair of earlier goals. She scored the game’s opening goal in the fifth minute on an assist from forward Brittany Hinton (sophomore, Davenport, West HS), then put the Dutch up 2-1 early in the second half on a pass from midfielder Molly Potts (junior, Pleasant Hill, Southeast Polk HS).
Bailey now has a team-best 10 goals for the season, matching her career-high total from last year.
But Northwestern (3-3-1) forced a 2-2 tie in the 72nd minute. With about 10 minutes left, Kobylinski put Saville, Bailey and Hinton on top for a late push that resulted in the winning score.
“I’m just happy for Emily (Saville),” Kobylinski said. “She’s worked so hard. And Alyssa came off the bench again and has really sparked us the last few games. That’s a testament to her hard work and dedication.”
The Dutch also got a strong defensive effort from goalkeeper Steph Hasken (senior, Davenport, West HS). Northwestern outshot Central 21-17 and had a 13-5 second-half advantage, but Hasken notched nine saves.
“Steph had a stellar save to keep us at 2-2,” Kobylinski said. “I was pleased with our back line, and with our midfielders in the attack as well. It was a total team effort. People know their roles and that’s really helped out this year. I couldn’t be happier.”
The Dutch are nearing the end of a nine-game, 15-day gauntlet and after making the long trek back Tuesday night, must prepare to take on Grinnell College Thursday at Pella. Game time is 5 p.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field. The Dutch edged Grinnell on the road last year, 2-1. The Pioneers are 1-4-1, dropping three games by 1-0 scores.
The Dutch will only put in a light workout Wednesday as they try to regain their legs for Thursday’s match. But Kobylinski is hoping Tuesday’s thriller will provide an energy boost.
“I’ve lost a few games like that before,” he said. “It’s gratifying to be on the other side of one this time.”
A video webcast and live stats of Thursday’s contest will be available through the Central athletics website at www.central.edu/athletics.