Friday evening saw the Lady Tigers walk onto Velting Field for their last home game of the season. For seniors Kerie Rudd and Erin Befus it would be the last time of their careers. “Before the game we challenged the ladies to give Kerie and Erin a good farewell game. The two of them have been with the program since its inaugural season 4 years ago.” Said Coach Rumenapp.
The game did not start off in favor of the Tigers, as Brescia University opened the in the 4th minute of the match. After the initial goal the Tigers were able to settle in and adapt to the speed of the bearcats upfront. Down 1-0 at the break the Lady Tigers looked to regain their form and command the 2nd half.
Once again the half did not begin favorable as the Lady Tigers conceded their second goal of the match within 5 minutes of the whistle. Facing a 2-0 deficit the Tigers found themselves in a position they have not been able to claw out of all season. “Early in the season I do not think we had the maturity to dig down and mount a comeback.” Stated Coach Rumenapp.
However, these are not the same inexperienced Lady Tigers as the beginning of the season. Courtney Glinka was able to spring Debbie Pekel on a throw-in for a 1 on 1 opportunity with the keeper. Debbie was able to perfectly place a nice left footed shot to the back corner of the net for her 13 goal of the season. Courtney and Debbie were not finished yet as they connected shortly later. Glinka was able to find Pekel at the top of the 18 and one move later Debbie was able to finish with her right foot this time to tie the game with just under 30 minutes to go.
Back and forth the action would go with neither team being able to find the decided goal for near 20 minutes until the Tigers were able to strike again. This time it was Debbie Pekel connecting with Autumn Befus, who played a nice first touch past a defender to herself and finished with a cool right foot to give the Tigers their first lead of the game with under 10 minutes to go in the contest. At the final whistle that would be the final score with Autumn Befus getting credit for her second straight deciding goal.
“This win was a team effort.” Said Coach Rumenapp after the game, “The ladies continue to mature and proved once again what trust and belief in your teammates can accomplish. They were able to overcome a slow start and pull together as a team for the win. Once again Kerie Rudd was stellar in the back and really held it together for us on the back line. She will be sorely missed next season.”