Aug 14, 2020
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Melissa Ellis fights for the ball against Utah State at the Fresno State soccer field on Thursday Oct. 4, 2019. (Larry Valenzuela/ The Collegian)

Last-second goal leads to a tie against Utah State

The Fresno State Women’s team brought drama to all the fans in attendance during its game against the visiting Utah State University Aggies as it returned home following the win against Colorado College.

Just before time could expire in the Thursday night game, forward Ele Avery scored a last-second goal to tie the game and send it into overtime. The tying goal was scored with just four seconds left in regulation.

The Bulldogs started the game hot against the Aggies by maintaining possession and keeping the ball on the Aggies’ side of the field. Within six minutes into the start of the game, the Bulldogs had already taken two shots on goal. 

For the entirety of the first half, the Bulldogs had a total of four shots on goal over the Aggies’ two.

Fresno State head coach Brian Zwaschka said he knew that the Aggies were a resilient team and didn’t want any of the players to get too comfortable at the start. The team saw that resilience as the possession changed but managed to keep the Aggies contained. 

By the second half, the Aggies would find more of a rhythm and eventually outshoot the Bulldogs six shots to five. Aggies forward Sid Barlow scored the opening goal of the match, giving Utah State a 1-0 lead over the ‘Dogs. 

The Bulldogs struggled to get any momentum going with the offense, as the team fouled seven times in the second half. 

Fresno State forward Racine Babb was the only player given a yellow card throughout the game. But with the stadium announcer counting down from 10 seconds, Avery found a way to score the lone goal for the Bulldogs.

“I’m just so proud of my team,” Avery said. “It was really a whole team effort. We pushed each other to the end to create all these opportunities, and I just happened to be the one right there to finish it.”

This goal was Avery’s first goal of the season for the Bulldogs. She also recorded a season career-high for shots taken. Robin McCarthy was credited with the assist for Avery’s goal. This assist was McCarthy’s third of this season.

In the first overtime period, only one shot would be taken out of the entire 10 minutes and that shot was by the Bulldogs.

The second overtime period saw more action, as the Aggies outshot the Bulldogs 3-2. However, all three Aggie shots were saved by Fresno State goalie Melina Zink. Both teams were not able to find the net as the game finished in a draw.

The Bulldogs’ overall record sits at 5-3-1, while their conference record is now 1-1-1.

“Credit to the team because there was nothing left to do but throw everything we could at them,”  Zwaschka said after the match. “What I asked for at the half was to make sure if we are going 100 miles per hour that in the final moment, we’d have that composure.”

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