Lightning strikes twice for Neal, WSC draws

Lightning strikes twice for Neal, WSC draws

TIFFIN – Christina Neal scored a pair of goals as the Heidelberg University women's soccer team and Olivet College played to a 3-3 draw on Friday evening. The game ended after regulation because of lightning in the distance.

As it has throughout the early part of the season, Heidelberg (0-2-1) struck early. In the sixth minute, Neal corralled a loose ball in the penalty area and put it past Comet keeper Kori Ramirez.

Neal expanded Heidelberg's lead in the 15th minute. Taking a feed from Brittany Yost, Neal's shot from just outside of the six-yard box beat Ramirez to her right. It was Neal's fourth goal of the young season.

Olivet (2-0-1) answered with a goal in the 31st minute by standout freshman Isabelle Leon. Leon ran onto a long ball played ahead and beat Heidelberg's goalkeeper Kenzie Lundqvist.

The Student Princes pushed their lead back to two in the 33rd minute. On a corner kick, Ramirez was whistled for a foul, which resulted in a penalty kick for the Berg. Kristen Keenan stepped up and knocked it in, tucking the ball high inside the right post.

Down 3-1 entering the second half, Leon scored her fifth goal in three games a mere 40 seconds into the second half. Her goal seemed to buoy the spirit of the Comets, who controlled the play much of the half.

In the 63rd, Brooke Leach found the equalizer. Leon played a ball into space for Rachael Durocher, who levied a shot on frame. Lundqvist made a diving save on the initial shot, but the rebound caromed to Leach who had an empty net in front of her.

Olivet continued to assail Lundqvist and the Heidelberg back line, but the Student Princes were able to keep the score tied at three. Lundqvist finished with six saves.

The Student Princes had a few chances late in the game, but Ramirez, who also finished with six saves, was equal to the task.

"It was nice to put three balls in the back of the net and it was great to get a result," said Nick Spell, in his eighth year as head coach. "I thought we learned from losing a lead last weekend. It was a solid step forward."

Spell's squad will return to the field on Tuesday at Wittenberg. The non-conference match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.