For the third consecutive year, the Bethany women’s soccer team earned a trip to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Postseason Tournament. On Monday night, the Vikings traveled to the University of Northwestern to take on the Eagles in the opening round of the Tournament. The Vikings came away with a hard-fought victory in overtime over the Eagles, winning 2-1.
Freshman Bitter (Bemidji, Minn.) found the back of the net minutes into the first overtime period to help advance the Vikings to the semifinals of the Postseason Tournament.
The Eagles (No. 5 seed) entered the tournament with an overall record of 9-7 and conference play record of 5-3. The Vikings (No. 4 seed) began tournament play with a 9-9-2 overall record and 4-3-1 record in conference.
During the regular season, the Northwestern Eagles defeated the Bethany Vikings twice. UNW earned the 4-1 on the first day of the 2016 season, followed by a conference win over Bethany later in the season, 2-1. Playing under the lights on Monday night, the Vikings had all the confidence in their teammates knowing they can compete the entire field of teams in the Postseason Tournament, so falling to Northwestern in the regular season was only extra motivation for Head Coach Derick Lyngholm and his team.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard first in the quarterfinal contest, scoring in the 41st minute of play. To open the second period of action, Bethany capitalized on an own goal to bring the score to even, 1-1. For the reminder of the second period, it was both teams playing with high energy and aggressiveness hoping to send their team to the next round of the tournament.
Entering the overtime period, Bethany totaled 11 shots to the Eagles 21. Of those shots, BLC had 10 shots on goal compared to UNW’s 13.
Minutes into the extra session, Bitter netted her 18th goal of the season to send the Vikings to the semifinal round of the UMAC Postseason Tournament.
Following the thriller over Northwestern, Bethany will now travel to play the Lumberjills from Northland on Wednesday, November 2nd at 1 p.m. The Lumberjills are the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Northland beat the Vikings 1-0 in OT on October 22nd to secure the UMAC regular season title.