Lexington, Ky. – A scintillating game-winner from senior forward Jessie Wilson with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game handed the Transylvania field hockey team a 1-0 win against the Earlham College Quakers at Pat Deacon Stadium on Friday evening.
After prying at the Earlham goal for nearly 70 minutes, the Pioneers and Wilson converted from close range to hand the Pioneers their second win of the season, and the second in the last three games.
It was a thrilling finish to a half in and game in which the Pioneers controlled offensively. The final shot of the game was a rewarding payoff for a Transylvania team that continued to increase its offensive aggression through the course of the evening.
The game was a tale of two halves; in the first half, Earlham maintained consistent possession while the Pioneers fought to put together cohesive runs upfield to mount a concentrated attack. While the Quakers created a flurry of opportunities, the Pioneers defense held firm and goalkeeper Allyson Benz played a key role, managing four hard-earned saves as the last line of resistance.
The game shifted gears in the second half, as the Pios came out revitalized and refocused. Transylvania wrested away possession from Earlham and began stringing together longer runs and maintained residence in the attack area.
As the second half continued, Transylvania continued to move its way inside the arc, coming dangerously close to scoring on a number of chances, but a collection of shots went just wide. With every one of Transylvania's 13 second-half shots, a sense grew that the Pioneers were on the cusp of a goal.
In the final minutes, the Pioneers continued putting pressure upon Earlham's defense and moving inside. After creating a crowd inside the arc, freshman midfielder Taylor Insley fed Wilson from close range and Wilson rocketed it into the corner for the go-ahead goal with 21 seconds remaining in the contest.
The win was a sweet result for the Pioneers, who had lost to the Quakers earlier in September at Richmond. Benz finished the day with seven saves as she gained her first shutout of the season for Transylvania.
The Pioneers will try to continue its trend of success as they host Lindenwood-Belleville on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at Pat Deacon Stadium.
For more on Transylvania field hockey, follow their official twitter @TransyFH