The Bethany Lutheran women’s soccer team continued the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Postseason Tournament on Wednesday afternoon against the No. 1 seed Northland Lumberjills in the semifinals round of the tournament. The battle for a trip to the 2016 UMAC Championship was won by the Lumberjills – who secured a 2-1 overtime victory over the Vikings.
The last three times the women’s soccer team has faced Northland, the game has gone into an extra session. In those three contests, the Lumberjills have beat Bethany twice and the other game ended in a 1-1 tie. Most recently, NC defeated BLC 1-0 in OT to earn a share for the regular season conference title. So the matchup on paper had all the hype and anticipation to be a great show.
In what was a back-and-forth rally throughout the first half, the No. 5 seed, Bethany Vikings, stood their ground and kept the UMAC favorites at a 0-0 deadlock at break. In the 67′ mark the Lumberjills netted the first goal of the semifinal matchup.
Bethany kept their composure, as their scoring opportunity did not come until four second remained in regulation as Rachel Bitter (Bemidji, Minn.) scored her second goal of the Postseason Tournament to send the contest into overtime. Not only did Bitter propel the Vikings to OT, she also broke two Bethany women’s soccer single season records. The freshman becomes the single season record holder for goals in a season (19) and total points (40).
In overtime, the top-seed in the tournament netted the game-winning goal with 2:57 left to earn their trip to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Championship game on Saturday afternoon.
Concluding the contest, the Lumberjills totaled 20 shots and 10 shots on goal, which outshined the Vikings 10 shots and eight shots on goal.
Bethany finishes the 2016 season 10-10-2 overall and a 4-3-1 record in conference competition.