UNI wins in overtime at MVC Tournament



Sophia Balistreri (19) scored the only goal of the day during the first overtime period, securing UNI’s 1-0 win over Belmont at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

BEN LAHART, Sports Writer

The UNI women’s soccer team traveled to Chicago for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Their first match took place Thursday, Oct. 27, against Belmont. This was UNI’s second straight game against the Bruins coming off a 0-0 tie on Oct. 23. It took an overtime period for the Panthers to score and ultimately win 1-0.

The first period was quite uneventful even with UNI producing three shots to Belmont’s one. None of the four total shots were on goal. Lauren Heinsch accounted for two of UNI’s three shots while Allison Whitaker had the other.

The second period provided a bit more action than the first. UNI started off quick with a shot on goal from Ashley Harrington in the 46th minute. This shot was saved from scoring. Quickly following was a shot on goal from Belmont that was saved by UNI. After two more UNI shots, the 50th minute produced another shot on goal from UNI forward Sophia Meier but was saved by Bruins’ goalkeeper Sarah Doyle. Belmont followed with three shots, one of which was on goal but was saved by UNI goalkeeper Caitlin Richards. In the 67th minute Harrington kicked another shot on goal that did not score. 

To close out the period, Belmont had a shot on goal in the 84th minute that was saved from scoring by Richards. UNI had a final chance for a regulation win in the 89th minute with a shot on goal from Heinsch. The match was tied 0-0 after 90 minutes.

This was UNI’s first experience with overtime this year as there is no overtime in the regular season anymore after a rule change this past offseason. In conference tournament matches, overtime is played in two 10 minute periods, then a penalty-kick shootout afterwards if the match is still tied. UNI scored their first goal in the 97th minute off the leg of Sophia Balistreri to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Belmont kept the match entertaining with a shot on goal in the 106th minute of play that was saved by Richards. UNI then totaled six shots, three of which were on goal, in the next five minutes, but none scored. Belmont’s final chance came in the last minute with a shot on goal that failed to score.

UNI led both teams in shots, eight, shots on goal, 18, and goals with one. They also totaled six saves, five from Richards. Heinsch’s team high seven shots were just one shy of her season high and her three shots on goal tied her season high. Balisteri’s 97th minute score was her fourth of the season.

Next up for the Panthers will be a meeting with UIC. The Panthers and Flames met in Chicago earlier this season, and played to a scoreless tie.