Lady Lions fall to Brandywine in OT

Madison Polumbo dribbles past a defender in the midfield.
Madison Polumbo dribbles past a defender in the midfield.

Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions fell to 8-3 on the season and 3-2 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference following Wednesday night's overtime loss at the hands of Penn State Brandywine. Hazleton trailed for much of the night and scored two game tying goals in the second half to force extra time, but a quick response by Brandywine just 23 seconds into the first overtime clinched the win for the visiting team. 

Hazleton pressed forward early in the contest and reeled off three shots by the 16th minute of action but fell behind after a long shot by Meltem Ozdemir from the right side, sneaking the ball into the upper right 90. Trailing 1-0, Hazleton hunkered down into a defensive formation and kept within reach of Brandywine deep into the second half, waiting for the opportunity to knot the score. That moment came in the 69th minute of play when sophomore Emma Wyllie (Benton, Pa.) broke past the Brandywine defense. With just one defender left to beat, Wyllie dribbled the ball deep into the opponent's box and with almost no angle, lofted a shot across the goal and over the outstretched arms of the Brandywine keeper to tie the game. 

The Lady Lions sank back into their defensive formation, withstanding nine shots from Brandywine over the next 15 minutes of play but in the 84th minute, Averie Florschutz broke the stalemate with a line drive into the upper left 90 from distance. Trailing 2-1 with six minutes to play, Hazleton went back on the attack and with four minutes remaining, senior Katie Oldziejewski (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) broke free up the left side of the field for a late scoring attempt. Oldziejewski shot with the left foot and was tipped away by the Brandywine keeper, but once again Wyllie made the defense pay, collecting the rebound and tucking the ball in for the equalizer. 

Both squads would come up empty in the final minutes of regulation and following brief intermission, Brandywine took possession in the overtime period. One shot was all they needed to sink the hopes of the Lady Lions and it came with 9:37 to play in extra time. A well placed shot from outside the 18 by Brianna Banks hooked into the upper left 90 to stop play and send Brandywine home with a 3-2 victory. 

A tough loss for the Lady Lions but a very well played game none the less. Wyllie's two-score effort gave the sophomore 18 goals on the season and freshman goal keeper Roxxy Dacosta (Bronx, Ny.) made 11 saves on the night against a tough conference opponent. 

Next up: Hazleton has 10 days off before their final conference game of the season. Hazleton will host Mont Alto on Saturday, October 19 at 1:00 p.m. in a game that will have playoff implications for both squads.