The John Brown University women’s soccer team was officially named the 2013-2014 Sooner Athletic Conference Champions after their win against the Oklahoma City University Stars on Friday night.
Regardless of playing on the Stars’ home field, the Lady Eagles came out ready to put up a fight.
Junior Casey O’Brien scored the first goal of the game in the 19th minute, leading the Stars player defending her to throw her arms in up shock.
It wasn’t until the 44th minute that OCU scored a goal, tying the game 1-1.
At the end of the 90-minutes, the game entered its first overtime where no goals were made, sending the game into double overtime.
Once again, no goals were made, which meant it was time for penalty kicks, which sent all of the fans at the game into a nervous state.
OCU senior Megh an McMahon, who was named the 2012 SAC player of the year, OCU’s all-time leading goal scorer, and the SAC offensive player of the year, missed the first OCU attempt in the shootout.
O’Brien stepped up to the line to take her shot and made it clear past the Stars’ goalie, setting JBU ahead in the shootout.
OCU’s Allison Worshman missed the next Stars attempt, followed by Senior Laura Bradshaw missing a shot for JBU.
Allie Glazner successfully made a goal for OCU to which Golden Eagle freshman Braydi Frederick matched, keeping JBU ahead in the shootout by one point.
After OCU’s Ashleigh Story missed her shot, it was up to JBU sophomore Julie Whitlow to make her shot to end the shootout and name her team SAC Champions.
Whitlow succeeded. The fans and team rushed the field with excitement, cheering and screaming over the big win.
When asked to describe the experience of winning the championship title in one word, Head Coach Kathleen Paulsen said, “Victory.”
Paulsen believes having family, friends and peers travel to Oklahoma City for the match, as well as having their support over the entire season which has been a huge encouragement.
“The support has been incredible,” Paulsen said. “It’s been so much fun to be a part of this place as they celebrate success with us.”
Assistant Coach Faith Thurman has seen the impact of the fan support as well.
“I’m so grateful to be a part of a school that will be behind us whether we win or lose,” Thurman said. “It really shows how close knit our community is, how much this family cares for us personally.”
“Thank you for your encouragement, your cheering, your love and support,” Paulsen says to the fans and supporters. “We are so grateful.”
The team will now fly to California to play against Concordia University.
A full recap of the championship game can be found at www.jbuathletics.com