Coming into its game against Iowa on Thursday night, the Nebraska women’s soccer team knew it needed a victory.
And although it took longer than regulation to attain it, the Huskers ultimately got the win that they were looking for, prevailing 2-1 over the Hawkeyes in overtime.
After two 4-0 losses against Penn State and Ohio State last weekend, the Huskers were heading into the road game looking for a win to keep their hopes of making the Big Ten Tournament alive.
“It’s obviously disappointing because of the losses, but we can’t change the past; we can only work on getting better,” junior midfielder Ari Romero said earlier this week.
With a few days off, the Huskers looked to regain their focus about getting the win.
“I think the biggest thing is we have to work for each other,” said sophomore midfielder Caroline Gray. “We have to come together as a team and the only way we are going to win is if we want to win for each other.”
The Huskers came out fast with four shots on goal less than 10 minutes into the start of the first half. But after the quick start, things started to quiet down with the game scoreless at the end of the first half.
Coming out of halftime the Hawkeyes tried turn the tables around and took the first couple of shots. But the dynamic of the game changed when junior forward Stacy Bartels was able to break the scoreless game with a goal in the 53rd minute off a corner kick from Gray.
Just over a minute after the Huskers took the lead, the Hawkeyes came right back to answer with a goal from senior midfielder Katherine Lewis on a penalty kick.
After Lewis’ goal Iowa came out on a hot streak with six unanswered shots. Still, the game remained fairly quiet for the rest of the second half, sending the Huskers into their sixth overtime game of the season.
Although the Huskers struggled in their first four overtime games this year and were unable to come out with a win, they managed to break their streak with their first overtime win on the road at Wisconsin on Oct. 5 and were looking to come out with another.
As the first overtime came to a close, it seemed as if Nebraska and Iowa might be bringing the game into a second extra period. But with less than a minute left in the first overtime, Gray prevailed for the Huskers to score the winning goal.
Coming into the game, Nebraska knew it was going to be a close one, and that staying focused was going to be critical.
“We can obviously last 90 minutes in a game and we can even last more,” Romero said. “It’s just unfortunate that we can’t get the end result.”
But with the confidence of getting another overtime win the Huskers will look to use that boost of confidence as they face last year’s Big Ten Tournament champion, Illinois, on Sunday.
“As long as we know we can beat them, we can,” Gray said. “We just have to believe in our abilities.”