The women’s soccer team won their first game of conference play after a game-winning goal in double overtime against Eastern Illinois University Sunday afternoon.
Both teams have been equally unsuccessful in conference play this season, making this a crucial match for either team to move up in conference standings.
With this win, Belmont was able to move up from being ranked tenth to eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Bruins took control of the first 40 minutes, keeping the ball in the Panthers’ territory for most of the half. Belmont’s defense, led by Rachel Vernon, held EIU to just one shot while the Bruins had nine.
EIU entered the second half with more offensive momentum, taking four more shots than in the first half. However, the Bruins were able to out play the Panthers’ defense, taking 10 shots in the second half.
The Bruins took 19 shots during regulation time, but were unable to score, taking the game into overtime.
The first half of overtime was an equal fight as both defenses protected their goal, ending the half scoreless. Only one shot was taken by Hawkins, but it soared over the net, sending the game into a second overtime.
In the final 6 minutes, Hawkins was finally able to find the back of the net after a corner kick sent by Nicki Clements hit her perfectly at the front post.
The corner by Clements was also her first career assist for Belmont.
The Bruins will continue their home game stretch this Friday as they take on another conference rival, Tennessee Technological University. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at E. S. Rose Park.
This article written by Julieann Challacombe. Photos by Colby Crosby.