It took seven hours and twenty-two minutes in all, but the Stetson (0-2-0) vs. Georgia Southern (1-0-0) women's soccer game to open the Hatters home slate did eventually end on Sunday. The Eagles defeated Stetson by a score of 2-0 in the first regular season match to be played at the newly renovated Stetson Soccer Complex.
"At this stage of the game I'm not measuring our success in wins and losses," Head Coach Julie Orlowski said. "I'm measuring it in lessons learned and how we respond to adversity. For a while you could see just how talented we are, but you could also see just how young we are. It's starting to gel; we just need to make progress a little sooner in the game."
It was Georgia Southern that made progress early, scoring in the 15th minute to take the lead. Alex Murphy, who was making most of the Eagles' offense happen early on, crossed a ball from the left side of the box, and found an open teammate. Morgan Springer one-touched the pass and put it into the back of the net.
The Hatters were right in the game, recording four shots in the first half, and forcing Georgia Southern goalkeeper Katie Merson to save a pair of them on shots by junior Alexis Trybinski and freshman Mara Keomanivane.
Early in the second half, the Eagles increased their lead to two with a goal in the 52nd minute. A shot by Courtney Collins from around 12 yards out was saved by Stetson goalkeeper junior Victoria Trocolli. Unfortunately for the Hatters, Stephanie Gratto was there to finish off the rebound.
With just under 25 minutes remaining in regulation, some inclement weather made its way into the area, and forced the two teams off of the field. Since the delay lasted past the allotted time regulated to restart the match, the game was officially suspended.
It was then rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. to accommodate both teams' student-athletes, who will be starting classes on Monday. After about four minutes of action on the field, a lightning strike in the area forced the game to be delayed once again. Finally, when the Eagles and Hatters made it back on the field one more time, the two teams played until the final buzzer.
Stetson came out strong after the final weather delay, recording four corner kicks to the Eagles' one, but it wasn't enough. Georgia Southern left DeLand with a 2-0 victory in their first game of the season, dropping the Hatters to 0-2-0.
Stetson will next play host to Embry-Riddle on Saturday, August 25th at 7:00 p.m.
Julie Orlowski Interview
Amber Grose Interview