It was the kind of shot Faith Meredith had taken – and made – before.
So, when the Laramie County Community College sophomore came down wide on the right side of an overtime game between the Golden Eagles and the Monroe Community College Tribunes, she decided it wouldn’t hurt to try it again.
“I was a little nervous at first when I was watching it,” Meredith said. “And then it hit the post and bounced, obviously, the way we wanted it to.”
Meredith’s goal off the far post gave the Golden Eagles a 3-2 overtime win over Monroe CC in what was easily the most competitive game so far at the NJCAA Division 1 Women’s Soccer National Championship Tournament at Orlando Health Stadium on the campus of Eastern Florida State College.
It was the first game in Pool A play for No. 8 seed Laramie County (15-1-2), which will play No. 1 Monroe College (12-0) at 10 a.m. Wednesday for a spot in the semifinals.
Monroe Community College (13-6-2) was eliminated from the tournament with the loss.
Laramie County coach Jim Gardner praised the play of Monroe CC coach Sal Galvano’s team for giving the Golden Eagles such a hard game.
“It’s always fun to play someone you love and respect,” Gardner said. “Their team came out with heart. They could have folded today after yesterday (when they lost to Monroe College). They were ready, fired up and ready to play.”
While no team wants to go home from the tournament 0-2, Galvano was happy with the way his team played in both games.
“We’ve got 16 freshmen, that was the nice thing about it,” Galvano said. “They don’t know how to lose easy. They’ll make it very difficult for teams. I love the character that we have. They’ve got that fighting spirit.”
Tuesday’s win was a nice bounce back for Laramie, which lost its top player – center back Shaney McCabe – to an injury right before the regional tournament.
Laramie’s Beyonce Robinson got the scoring going early, giving the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead in the game’s first five minutes.
However, Monroe CC would answer with a successful penalty kick by Efi Brame to tie the score. After Christina de Andres put the Golden Eagles back on top 2-1, it was Monroe’s Katrina Yencer scoring for the second straight day to tie it up.
That set up Meredith’s game-winning overtime goal, which touched off a big celebration.
“It was exciting in that moment, having the whole team trample over you and grab you,” she said. “It was an exciting feeling. We’ve still got things to do.”