YPSILANTI, Mich. - If there is time left on the clock, the Miami soccer team can make something happen and that is exactly what it did in a dramatic 3-2 double overtime victory at Eastern Michigan on Sunday afternoon.
Maggie Scott netted her first goal in nearly two years with 30 seconds remaining in double overtime to lift improve the RedHawks to 5-5-1 this season and 2-1-1 in Mid-American Conference play as MU rallied from a second-half deficit to post its third overtime victory this season.
"This team never gives up," head coach Bobby Kramig said. "They never quit and never stop believing in each other. They never stop competing. It's absolutely remarkable the way that they have been able to rally and fight through adversity and get these goals in the late stages of the game. It's amazing and I've never seen anything like it."
Both teams fired a pair of shots in the opening few minutes and each team's keeper made a stop on those bids. The RedHawks got some sustained possession in the attacking third that led to corner kicks in the ninth and 10th minute, but nothing came of them.
The Eagles (2-8-2, 0-4 MAC) peppered the RedHawk goal throughout the half, placing four of their eight shot attempts on goal and holding an 8-3 advantage in shots for the half. However, it was Miami that got the all-important goal as Ashley Weathers was the recipient of a good cross by Jenny Barr in the middle of the box. The sophomore was able to convert the feed for her first goal of the season in the 37th minute of play, giving Mu a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Eastern Michigan launched a barrage of shots in the second half, attempting 12 shots in total to amount a furious rally. Alex Wilbanks evened the score in the 54th minute as she converted a crossing feed. The constant pressure led to another EMU tally as Stef Barcelos converted a rebound in the 74th minute to put it in front 2-1.
With everything appearing to be tilting in the Eagles' favor down the stretch, the RedHawks managed to gather themselves facing a deficit for the first time. MU managed to create a corner kick and Stephanie Dillon's service into the box found Dana Miller, who converted at the far post in the 78th minute to even the score at 2-2 with her first collegiate goal and point. That sent the contest to overtime despite EMU's 20-7 advantage in shots through 90 minutes.
"Eastern Michigan pressed us in the second half," Kramig said. "We played pretty well in the first half and got a nice goal from Ashley. Eastern turned up the pressure in the second half and we didn't respond well to it. We started going to our bench down the stretch and they won the game for us. Ashley got a goal, Maggie got a goal and Bianca [Medancic] helped change the tone of the game when she came in."
The first overtime period just saw no shots or corner kicks and obviously no goals to boot. Things appeared headed to a similar fate in the second overtime as the match was less than a minute away from what would've been a welcomed draw for Miami. Unsatisfied with just the one point, Maggie Scott won a footrace with EMU goalkeeper Kaylin Williams to a loose ball in the box and tucked the ball inside the far post from the end line for her first goal of the season to give Miami its third overtime victory of the year. That was Scott's first goal since her MAC All-Freshman 2014 campaign that saw her score four goals and 10 points. The junior last scored in double overtime against Akron on Oct. 24, 2014 as she battled back from a season-ending injury from 2015 to get back into the team's rotation.
"It's been a big adjustment for me trying to get back recovering from my injury," Scott said. "When coach put me into the game in overtime, he told me what to do, stay high and in the middle and that's what I did. Jenna played a ball through and I beat the goalkeeper to the ball and it took me wide. I shot it from the side and slipped it into the far post. We have a thing for overtime this year. Sunday games are usually a tough battle and we kept fighting today. Dana's goal at the end of the half gave us momentum and we felt confident going into overtime."
Eastern Michigan held a heavy statistical advantage in roughly every category, which still didn't buy it a victory. The Eagles held a 23-8 edge in shots and were plus-10 (13-3) in corner kicks. Vic Maniaci turned away eight of the 10 shots that she faced to pick up the victory while Williams stopped three of the six shots that came her way.
Miami returns to the pitch for a Thursday afternoon tilt against Northern Illinois at 4 p.m.