Hastings, NE -- The Hastings College women's soccer team did what no other Broncos team has done since 2014, and that is making it to the final site of the 2018 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship. The path to Orange Beach went through a familiar 2018 foe in the Central Methodist University Eagles, a team the Broncos beat on Sept. 15 in overtime 2-1. On Saturday, the Broncos found themselves defeating the Eagles again, this time 1-0, in the Opening Round at Lloyd Wilson Field.
The Broncos (17-0-3, 10-0-2 GPAC) and the Eagles (16-6, 9-2 HAAC) found themselves in a defensive battle in the first half while also battling the chilling winds and eventually snow.
Hastings were on offense for most of the first half, including a shot on goal by Rhiannon Castle de Ortega (SR/Newcastle, England) 24 seconds into the match. Hastings tallied six shots, with all but the shot being on goal. For the Eagles, Hastings' defense proved too much for them, getting only one shot on goal.
The second half was a game of heavy offense, with the weather getting increasingly more pesky.
It was the Eagles who were on the attack to start the half, taking three of the first four shots, and all but one being on goal.
With the pressure being applied on Hastings by the Eagles, the Broncos were able to turn the tides on the Eagles and take over on the offensive pressure.
The sole goal of the match finally came in the 82nd minute when Berkley Sharp (SO/Basehor, KS) started driving up the right wing and passed the ball to Courtney Doeschot (SO/Omaha, NE) for the header goal.
The Eagles threatened in the 88th minute when Judith Sainz took a shot 18 feet out that went off the crossbar.
The only caution of the match also came in the 88th minute when Anika Kallash was issued a yellow card.
Sarah Carpenter (SO/Olathe, KS) was able to make all three save opportunities in the match. Offensively, Castle de Ortega led the pack with her game-high shots (6) and shots on goal (4), but it was Doeschot who made the difference with her goal on her two shots on goal.
When asked about her performance, Courtney "the Doeschot Dagger" Doeschot said it was "my team again that carried me through it. I wouldn't be here without these guy. Our team chemistry is the best it has been in years, and it really shows."
Next for the Broncos is a trip to Orange Beach, Ala., where they will take on the No. 4 Keiser University Seahawks (17-2-2, 9-0-1 TSC) on Monday, Nov. 26. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. CST.