Game Recap By Mason Nesbitt, Sports Information Director
The goal took forward thinking. So by definition of her position on the field and her status as a conference and NAIA scholar-athlete, Hailey Gomillion was up to the task.
She knew that Benedictine-Mesa defenders weren’t marking The Master’s University’s forwards, and that if she sprinted toward the ball and then slipped upfield, she’d find an opening.
Fortunately, freshman Emma Hopkins found Gomillion with a pass in that empty space. And Gomillion took two touches before pounding the ball into the net for the final goal in TMU’s 3-1 comeback win Monday at TMU.
But, it wasn’t the cerebral nature of the play that was so impressive in a season that’s still so young. The No. 17 Mustangs (3-2) have created grips of chances through their first five games. They just haven’t consistently found a finishing touch.
That wasn’t the case Monday, as Lynnae George put the ball in the net from close range in the 16th minute, answering an early goal from the visiting Redhawks (0-3).
“I think once we went down it was a little stressful,” Gomillion said. “But Lynnae stepped up and led well as a captain. That was huge, evening the score for us and giving us a blank slate.”
TMU’s next score came via an own goal, but it was Gomillion that put the game out of reach in the 76th minute. It was her second score in as many games, and one that might infuse the Mustang offense with momentum heading into home games Friday and Saturday.
“Any time you see the ball go in the net, it builds team confidence,” Gomillion said. “And we feel we’ve had so many shots, and to finally see them go in, it helps us move forward.”
TMU’s defense recovered after allowing an early goal and limited Benedictine to five shots. Lacey Lehman made two saves, her positioning high in the 18-yard box helping thwart the Redhawks’ direct style of play.
Center back Kayla Peterson likened Benedictine’s strategy to one of TMU’s Golden State Athletic Conference foes.
“They’re similar to Vanguard (University) where they’re trying to play those over the top balls and have girls running onto to the passes,” Peterson said. “They had a couple options, but our defense was solid enough to get the ball back.”
Here’s the box score.
The Mustangs will host the University of Antelope Valley on Friday at 4 p.m., with the University of Jamestown (N.D.) coming in on Saturday for an 11 a.m. start.
Jamestown received votes in the NAIA Preseason Coaches’ Poll.