The No. 11 Concordia women's soccer team played much of the second half a player down, but came together and filled the gaps, in a thrilling 4-3 win over No. 6 Vanguard to remain unbeaten in 2013.
Lizette Luna gave Concordia an early 1-0 when she made a run untouched to the goal to head home Miranda Canales corner kick at 20:04. Vanguard tied the game at 40:15 as Jordan Davidson pounded home a rebound after Makenna Yarbor sent in a high ball, which left the net open. The teams went to break 1-1 and the game heated up from there.
Early in the second half Vanguard got a free run and Concordia keeper Jazmin Alvarez made a sliding play on the ball, but contacted only leg, and was awarded a red card, removing herself from the contest and ensuring Concordia would play 10 against 11 for the next 40 minutes. Jennifer Martin finished the penalty kick and Vanguard led 2-1.
Carly Mottram changed the momentum nine minutes later when she sent home an absolute laser of a free kick that found the top right slot from about 30 yards for her team-leading seventh goal of the year. At 63:35 Megan Daniels forced a turnover, went three-on-one, and fired one off the right post from 15 yards away for the 3-2 lead. Vanguard tied the match at 77:44 and it was Davidson again, this time receiving a high through ball that beat Concordia keeper Megan Ferry and left the goal unguarded.
The game-winner came at 80:09 when Amanda Koman made a sliding save down the right sideline to Lauren Nanez to keep the ball in play. Nanez proceeded to move to the middle of the field and find Daniels posting a Vanguard defender up in the box. Daniels received the pass, spun left while sealing her defender, and sent it through the left slot, putting the Concordia bench into delirious celebration.
"Occasionally in this game when you go down a man, your team plays better, and that was definitely the case today" Concordia head coach Chris Gould said. "That was one of the coolest games I have ever been a part of. To watch a team overcome adversity like that, that is something they can take with them in life and it goes so far beyond soccer."
Vanguard got off three shots over the final 10 minutes, with one glancing off the crossbar and Ferry broke up a cross that would have found the net just beyond her. The shots were even at 13, with Concordia taking one more on frame at seven. Four yellow cards and one red card were issued, as the play was physical but well-intended. Ferry earned the decision for Concordia, her first of the year (1-0).
Concordia remained unbeaten at 11-0-3 and 6-0-1 in the GSAC. Vanguard was handed their second loss of the season and fell to 12-2 and 5-2 in conference play. Concordia leads No. 3 Westmont by two points in the standings and can control its own destiny with two wins. The Eagles host (RV) Biola at 2:30 pm on Saturday, October 26, at Eagles Field for Senior Day.