Gearhart’s 81st-Minute Goal Sends Women’s Soccer to 1-0 Win at American

WASHINGTON, DC – Abby Gearhart scored her 10th career goal and third against American, this one coming in the 81st minute to propel the Bucknell Women’s soccer team to a 1-0 win over the Eagles on Wednesday afternoon in steamy Washington, DC The win leveled the Bison’s Patriot League record at 1-1, while American dropped to 0-1-1.

Both teams were stout defensively as high-quality scoring chances were rare. Bucknell had a goal waved off in the 63rd minute when Paige Temple got on the finishing end of a beautiful cross whipped in by Meghan Whitebut the referee ruled that the ball struck Temple’s arm on the re-direct.

Some pressure in the attacking third finally led to the goal in the last nine minutes of the match. Gearhart stepped in and deflected an outlet pass from an American center back, and Rylee Donaldson was able to intercept and start a 3v1 counter. Teresa Deda played Donaldson wide in the left channel, and Donaldson found an open Gearhart in the center of the area for a one-touch shot that took a deflection off a sliding defender and spun past goalkeeper Julia Kato.

“We needed our experienced players to step up and they certainly did there in that moment with Abby, Rylee, and T combining on a nice goal,” said head Coach Kelly Cook. “I’m very proud of the whole group. A mid-week road game is always a challenge coming right from class and then stepping off the bus and playing a game. We showed good perseverance after having the goal called back. We continued to stick with the game plan and were rewarded with a goal in the end.”

The Bison had a good opportunity just nine minutes into the match when Deda fed Donaldson in the left side of the area, but Donaldson’s low drive from a sharp angle was saved by Kato and then the rebound was cleared away. In the 30th minute, Donaldson fed Henna Andican for a point-blank shot that was saved by Kato.

One game after conceding a season-high four goals at Navy, the Bison allowed only four total shots in this one. American’s first attempt of the day didn’t come until the 25th minute, a shot from distance that was easily caught by Jenna Hall.

Hall finished with three saves on the way to her third Solo shutout of the season and 11th of her career. Bucknell’s starting back four of Katie Schiano, Olivia DeConinck, Brooke Traceyand Meghan White were in command throughout and also received good support from reserve wingbacks Lea Tarzy, Leanne Engemannand Laura Schmidt on a warm day where hydration breaks were taken in each half.

“We used a whole bunch of backs and midfielders today,” said Cook. “Our deep bench allowed us to rotate players in and out, and overall it was a very good effort all the way around to keep a clean sheet on the road in league play.”

Bucknell extended its unbeaten streak against American to nine straight games (8-0-1) with a goal differential of 21-3 over that span.

After playing five straight games away from Lewisburg, the Bison finally have a home game on the horizon when Colgate visits Emmitt Field on Saturday at noon. The Raiders were 0-6-2 on the season before beating Boston University 1-0 at home on Wednesday.

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