TOLEDO, OH - Toledo registered its first win of the fall campaign with a heart-pounding 4-3 victory over IPFW on Sunday at Scott Park. With the triumph, the Rockets improve to 1-2-1 on the season.
UT looked sharp for the first 50 minutes of today's non-conference match and held what seemed to be a pretty comfortable 4-0 lead. The 2010 Mid-American Conference regular-season co-champs then substituted some younger players into the contest, and the Mastodons (1-2-0) took advantage of Toledo's youth, scoring three late goals to bring everybody in attendance to the edge of their seats. Fortunately for the home team, they were able to tighten their belts defensively in the waning moments and did not allow the visitors to tally the equalizer and escaped with the one-goal victory.
The Midnight Blue & Gold wasted little time in setting the tone in today's matchup and jumped on the scoreboard on a header by senior Kristen Lynn at 8:27. The first of Lynn's two tallies this afternoon was set up on a well-struck corner kick by junior Rachael Kravitz toward the back post. Senior Danielle Case redirected the cross back toward the middle of the goal box to the 2010 first-team All-MAC selection, who promptly headed it into the back of the net.
UT nearly made the score 2-0 on a shot by sophomore Rachel MacLeod with a little more than 25 minutes remaining in the opening period. Kravitz started the potential scoring opportunity with a long pass down the left side to a streaking Lynn, who carried the sphere about 20 yards towards the corner. Lynn then cut the ball inside an IPFW defender and crossed it toward the back post to a waiting MacLeod. The 2010 MAC Freshman of the Year tried to volley a shot just inside the far post, but her attempt went wide of the mark to keep it a one-goal difference.
The Rockets did not miss on their ensuing attempt and doubled their advantage on a score by sophomore Nicole Gyurgyik at 21:32. The play was made possible on a nice run and cross down the right side from MacLeod to Gyurgyik, who perfectly placed a shot into the net for the first of her two tallies on the afternoon.
UT maintained its high intensity to begin the second half and took advantage of Lynn's second goal of the match to make the difference 3-0. MacLeod did a bulk of the work on the play with a quality run down the right side and blasted a shot on the frame that the interior of the IPFW defense initially blocked. The ball bounced right to Lynn about 10 yards out on the right side, and she quickly composed herself before hammering rifling a low shot into the net at 45:22.
Toledo did not take its foot off the gas pedal despite the lead and received another tally from Gyurgyik to establish a four-goal cushion at 49:55. The home team did a nice job clearing an IPFW corner kick, and the ball made its way forward to Gyurgyik about 75 yards from the Mastodons' goal. The Mayfield Heights, OH native then carried the sphere about 25 yards before finding MacLeod open on the right side. Gyurgyik continued to sprint down the middle of the pitch and MacLeod hit her in full stride with a return pass. The second-year Rocket took one final touch and noticed IPFW goalie Jessica Schein had come off her line, so she perfectly chipped a shot over her head and into the goal for her first-career multi-tally effort.
Holding the sizable advantage, the Rockets pulled a lot of their regulars in favor of giving some younger players an opportunity to get their feet wet and the Mastodons took full advantage of Toledo's youth.
IPFW's Rhea Proctor broke up the shutout with her first goal of the season at 77:43. Teammate Tylar Allison played in a free kick from about 45 yards out on the right side into the teeth of the UT goal box. Proctor was able to create enough free space for herself in the middle of the Toledo defense and placed a shot past UT senior goalie Vicki Traven to put the visitors on the scoreboard.
Less than four minutes later, the Mastodons' Lisa Underwood made a long run down the left side and blasted a shot toward the back post from about 20 yards out. There seemed to be a lot of bodies in and around the UT end line and looked like Traven was shielded from Underwood's attempt, allowing her shot to slide past the Rockets keeper and into the goal at the 82:35 mark.
The Mastodons were now riding the momentum train and a little over two minutes passed before Underwood found paydirt once again to make it a one-goal difference at 84:55. IPFW's Allison played a pass into the middle of the UT goal box to Underwood, who found a way to get a toe on the ball despite a lot of congestion in front and directed it into the back of the net.
Following the third goal, Toledo performed a mass substitution and put back in quite a few of its starters. The first unit stabilized the situation enough in the waning moments and did not allow the visitors to mount an further attack and preserved the heart-pounding victory.
Traven returned to the lineup between the posts after sitting out Friday's match due to a mandatory one-match suspension for receiving a red card and finished with two saves in a winning effort. Her counterparts Schein and Kristen McFadden split time and were credited with one stop each.
The Rockets return to action on Friday, Sept. 2 when they host Niagara in non-conference action. The opening whistle is slated for 5:30 p.m. from the corner of Hill Ave. and Parkside Blvd.
TOLEDO 4, IPFW 3
UT: K. Lynn (R. Kravitz, D. Case), 8:34
UT: N. Gyurgyik (R. MacLeod), 21:32
UT: K. Lynn (Unassisted), 45:22
UT: N. Gyurgyik (R. MacLeod), 49:55
IPFW: R. Proctor (T. Allison), 77:43
IPFW: L. Underwood (Unassisted), 82:35
IPFW: L. Underwood (T. Allison), 84:55
SHOTS: UT 13, IPFW 9
CORNER KICKS: UT 4, IPFW 4
SAVES: UT 2, IPFW 2
FOULS: UT 14, IPFW 6
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