HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Stetson women’s soccer team came from behind, scoring a late second half goal off the foot of freshman Ashni Deschenes that propelled the Hatters to a 2-1 win at Northern Kentucky Sunday afternoon.
Tied at 1-1 for the entire second half, Stetson (4-6-2, 2-1-1) was finally able to gain the advantage with just 2:43 to play in regulation. Deschenes scored her first collegiate goal in fine fashion, beating Northern Kentucky goalkeeper Tanner Ruberg from 18 yards out to make it 2-1 in the 88th minute. Sophomore Mara Keomanivane and freshman Paige Law were award assists on the play.
The victory marked the Hatters’ fourth overall and second in Atlantic Sun Conference play, eclipsing Stetson’s win total in both categories from a year ago. Stetson now has seven points in league play, which puts the Hatters in a tie for third place after two full weekends of action.
“It certainly wasn’t our best game, but it was a gritty win,” Stetson head coach Manoj Khettry said. “I think we were fortunate, but this is a very difficult traveling trip, so if you had told me that we were going to get four points on the weekend before we left, I would have told you that I’d be happy.”
The Norse (4-8-1, 0-4-0) opened the scoring in the 37th minute on Sunday. Allison Ponzer found Abbey Scherer, who lobbed a shot over Stetson goalkeeper Victoria Troccoli to give NKU a 1-0 lead fairly late in the first half.
Stetson countered quickly though, scoring just over five minutes later to tie the match before halftime. Sophomore Danielle Hurme headed home a shot in the 42nd minute to score her now tied for team-leading second goal of the year.
Junior Carmen Bernecker and senior Amber Grose assisted Hurme on the play, giving Grose six helpers on the season, which is third most in the A-Sun this year. It also gets Grose into the Stetson record books, as she is now tied for the eighth most assists in a single-season in Hatter history.
“Northern Kentucky outplayed us the majority of the first half,” Khettry said. “They had more energy and it was difficult for us to get accustomed to the artificial surface. The overtime game on Friday and the travel really took something out of us, but they were just better in that first half.
“We talked about how we didn’t have a very good first half, but that we needed to put a good second half together,” Khettry continued. “We always put a good second half together, and our energy was definitely better.”
Stetson was outshot by NKU 13-8 and recorded just four corner kicks to 10 for the Norse. Troccoli made three saves for the Hatters in the win, while Ruberg did not make a save in the loss for NKU.
The Hatters will next return home for a pair of A-Sun contests at the Athletic Training Center. Stetson hosts USC Upstate on Oct. 11 at 7:00 p.m. and then takes on ETSU on Oct. 13 at 1:00 p.m.