Redbirds Fend Off Late Rally, Top No. 22 Marquette, 3-2
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NORMAL, Ill. - Three goals in the first 29 minutes gave the Illinois State soccer team a large enough cushion to withstand a late charge from No. 22 Marquette, as the Redbirds defeated the Golden Eagles, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at Adelaide Street Field. The victory is just the second in program-history over a top-25 team, and the first since defeating No. 10 Milwaukee on Oct. 23, 2011.
Dagny Olson, Rachel Tejada and Allie Newsom all scored to give the Redbirds (4-4-0) an early 3-0 lead, with Olson's tally coming just one minute and 30 seconds into the match. The Golden Eagles (5-3-0) controlled play the remainder of the contest, scoring on a penalty kick right before halftime and climbing to within one in the 74th minute. The ISU defense and goalkeeper Aryn Newsom (career-high 13 saves) did not surrender the equalizer, however, securing the victory over the team that eliminated them from the NCAA Tournament last season.
"Against a team like Marquette, you can never have too big of a lead," head coach Drew Roff said. "We knew what they were going to bring in the second half. They threw numbers forward, and they were very dangerous. Fortunately, we were able to hang on. It was a very gritty performance for us there in the second half."
Olson's first-career goal came on a set play off a free kick. Anna Stinson rolled the ball forward to Kyla Cross off the restart from 23 yards out, who sent in a cross before reaching the end line. MU keeper Amanda Engel deflected the service, but Olson was waiting at the back post for the loose ball to make it 1-0 ISU.
Tejada scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season, all of which have come in the last four games, in the 16th minute to give the Redbirds a 2-0 lead. Gabbi McArtor played a ball into the box from the left corner, which found the head of Hannah Leinert at the right post. Leinert played it over to Tejada, who finished into the open net for the two-goal advantage.
Allie Newsom's first goal of the season came in the 29th minute, and would end up being the game-winner. The midfielder leapt to intercept a clearance attempt from Marquette about 25 yards out. Newsom then rifled a shot off the bouncing ball towards Engel, who got a piece of it, but not enough to prevent it from finding the back of the net and making it 3-0 ISU.
Marquette's Emily Jacobson scored both goals for the Golden Eagles, converting a penalty kick in the 43rd minute and heading home a corner kick in the 74th minute to cut ISU's advantage to one goal, at 3-2. Aryn Newsom came up big in goal down the stretch, however, making 10 of her 13 saves in the second half.
"To beat a ranked team or win a huge game, your goalkeeper is going to have to come up big once or twice," Roff said. "I wish that wasn't the case, but in reality, great teams find ways to create chances. Your last line of defense has to be very solid when things break down, and they've got to save you at times. I thought Aryn had a couple of big-time saves, and some of the saves that looked routine but weren't easy, she was very clean with."
The Redbirds continue their four-game home stretch Tuesday against Saint Louis. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.
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