Redbirds Battle Back for 2-2 Draw at Florida Gulf Coast
Aug. 26, 2012
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Down 2-0 in the second half at Florida Gulf Coast, the Illinois State soccer team was in an unfamiliar situation, having not trailed all season. It was a familiar face, however, that brought the Redbirds back.
Sophomore Rachel Tejada scored two second-half goals in a seven-minute span, her sixth and seventh tallies of the season, to even Sunday morning's match at the 6th Annual Embassy Suites Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. The 2-2 score would hold throughout the remainder of regulation and overtime.
"I like how we battled back," head coach Drew Roff said. "However, we definitely started off slow. Getting down early to a good team like Florida Gulf Coast is definitely not what we planned on. I give our girls credit, though. That would have been an easy one to let slip away, but we were able to fight back and get out of here with a draw."
Playing in rain and with a howling wind in their face, the Redbirds fell behind 1-0 on a goal from the Eagles' Ally Kasun in the 13th minute. The deficit would carry in to halftime, with ISU (2-0-2) registering only two shots compared to FGCU's (2-1-1) seven. After conceding another goal, this time to Shea Rhoney in the 55th minute, the Redbird offense awoke.
Tejada's first goal came in the 63rd minute, as the Troy, Ill., native converted a rebound from her own shot to bring Illinois State back within one. Then, in the 70th minute, Rachel Bostick headed a free-kick from Kristin Cooley off the crossbar. Tejada was there to corral the loose ball and slip it by keeper Brittany Brown to even the match.
The Redbirds fired 12 shots compared to the Eagles' seven in the second half and two overtime periods, as both teams registered 14 shots overall. Aimee Wronski led all players with a career-high seven shots, including four shots on goal. Aryn Newsom received the start in goal for ISU, making three saves.
Tejada was selected as the tournament's MVP, as she scored four goals over the two games while chipping in an assist. Kyla Cross, Abby Van Deventer and Cooley were also named to the all-tournament team. The Redbirds won the first game of the tournament 7-0, Friday, over Florida Atlantic, as Tejada and Van Deventer scored twice with Cross, Mackenzie Staton and Allie Newsom also tallying.
The Redbirds are next in action at Northern Illinois, Friday, Aug. 31, at 4 p.m. They then return home to face Western Michigan at Adelaide Street Field, Sunday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m.
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