Panthers Overcome Early Deficit, Two Lightning Delays Behind Stuck's Game Winner

Photo by Tina Phillips
Photo by Tina Phillips

BRADFORD, Pa. -- Meghan Stuck found space and fired a shot past the Thiel keeper over halfway through the first overtime period to give the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's soccer team its first victory of the 2018 season.

It took three-and-a-half hours to complete, as a pair of lightning delays halted the game's action, but the Panthers were able to overcome a first-half goal and defeat Thiel, 2-1, Monday.

The victory evens the Panthers' 2018 record at 1-1.

"We worked hard, but struggled to find the back of the net," Head Coach Melissa Lincoln said. "I was glad to see us finish the game out and get the job done regardless of the circumstances. It was a good first win and hopefully we can keep it rolling Wednesday at Allegheny."

Both teams had early chances, but Thiel struck first with a strike just under 24 minutes into the contest.

The lead would eventually hold and the Tomcats took the advantage into the break.

But in the 69th minute, Hannah Hopkins fired a shot that was stopped by the keeper, and Kahlee Bowen corralled the rebound and put it past to tie the game. 

With 15 minutes to go in regulation, lightning struck -- literally -- and the two teams halted play for 30 minutes.

Play eventually resumed, ending with Stuck firing a shot in the final minute of the game that was saved, sending the two teams into overtime.

Shortly into overtime, a second lightning delay stopped play for another 30 minutes.

The Panthers came out strong after the delay, pressing the Thiel defense.

Kahlee Bowen eventually found Stuck inside the box, and she did not miss, bouncing to hard off the center of the net, winning the game for the Panthers.

Pitt-Bradford controlled much of the offensive game, outshooting Thiel 22-7.

Stuck led the way with seven shots, while Courtney Shade was next with four. Bowen and Grace Dadzaa had three apiece, and Jade Adams shot twice. Jasmine Adams, Julie Barton and Hopkins shot once apiece.

Emily Bethel earned the first victory of her collegiate career in goal, saving four of five shots on goal.

The Panthers had six corner kick chances and held Thiel to just one.

Up next, the Panthers will play their first game away from the Kessel Athletic Complex Wednesday as they travel to Allegheny.