MISENHEIMER, NC - Aaliyah Jackson's goal with 2:54 left in regulation gave the Pfeiffer University women's soccer team (2-3-0) a dramatic 3-2 victory over #22 Queens (4-1) on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon. The Royals scored twice in a 5:03 span late in the second half to erase a 2-0 deficit, but the Lady Falcons rallied late for their second consecutive victory overall and third straight win over Queens.
Pfeiffer scored just under three minutes into the match on Hannah Hill's first strike of the season. Hill took a brilliant crossing pass from Jackson and easily beat the Royals keeper to take the early advantage. The assist was Jackson's first career helper. The half finished about as evenly played as possible, with each team taking four shots and two corner kicks.
In the 64th minute, Pfeiffer took what appeared to be a commanding 2-0 lead when Kayla Rodriguez corralled a long pass and sent it to Brae Buster who scored for the third time in five games, beating keeper Jessyca Young from just outside the box. In the 76th minute, Caitlyn Rodrigues put the Royals on the board when Ashley Osiecki sent a centering pass in front of the net that Rodrigues put in with her left foot for her sixth goal of the young season. Just over five minutes later, Queens seized all the momentum when Kelli Gottry put her shot past Pfeiffer goalkeeper Kate Halligan in the bottom right corner off a pass from Cassandra Nelson. The Lady Falcons would regroup and put together a perfect offensive possession in the 87th minute as Rodriguez fed Jackson for the winner. The assist was Rodriguez's second of the contest as she sent it through a crowded box to Jackson who put it past a Royal defender into the open net. Queens was unable to get anything going in the final moments of the game as the Lady Falcons secured the victory.
"I was really happy with how we fought and how we came together after giving up those two quick goals," said Head Coach Elijah Denton. "We played at a high level today and competed against one of the best teams in the area, so it means a lot to come away with the win."
For the match, the Lady Falcons held a 10-9 advantage in shots. Queens took four corners and Pfeiffer had two. Halligan made four stops to improve to 2-3 while Young made three saves in the Royals first loss of the season.
Kaitlin Sampson and Buster each took two shots for the Lady Falcons who return to action on Saturday when they travel to King to open conference play at 2 p.m.