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Women's Soccer - Thu, Sep. 28, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Jazzmyn Esquivel scored another game-winner for HIU against Menlo (Photo by Liza Rosales)
Jazzmyn Esquivel scored another game-winner for HIU against Menlo (Photo by Liza Rosales)
(RV)Menlo College
Hope International

FULLERTON, CA – Hope International took down (RV) Menlo on Thursday, Sept. 30 in a morning matchup at Fullerton College. The Royals found themselves playing from behind for much of the match but some late-game magic allowed HIU to come up with the win in overtime.

Facing arguably the best keeper in the GSAC, HIU came out aggressive and tested the Oaks' back line from the jump. The Oaks made three incredible team saves with their back line after HIU caught the MC keeper out of place and then quickly mounted a counterattack up the field after a clearing opportunity.

Menlo netted the first goal of the match just nine minutes in after an Oaks corner taken from the left side wound up in the net following a failed clear attempt by an HIU midfielder. The Oaks were able to take a one-touch shot on a deflected ball and would go into halftime with the 1-0 advantage.

The Royals began to work their way back into the match and maintained better possessions in the second half until an opportunity presented itself in the 67th minute. Jade Perez carried a ball up the sideline passed the Oaks' right back and then chipped a ball ahead to Leigha Williams in the box. Williams took a touch to her right and then used her own defender as a screen for the Oaks' keeper, pinning a shot into the upper right corner without a save attempt offered by the Oaks' net-minder.

Both sides would mount several rallies late in the final moments of regulation looking for an answer that would avoid extra time, but at the final buzzer of the second period both teams were still knotted up at 1-1 on the scoreboard.

The two teams played up and down the pitch in the second half and generated a pair of shots apiece, but it was the Royals that ultimately prevailed. With 15 seconds remaining in the first – and final – overtime, Jazzmyn Esquivel sprinted up the center of the pitch with the ball and beat the Oaks' back line alone before finishing a shot over a diving save attempt during a one-on-one against the Menlo keeper for the golden goal with seven seconds left in the third period of the match.

Esquivel notched her ninth goal of the season and the 20th of her career at HIU, vaulting herself into third all-time in the Royals' goal-scoring career ranks. Jacqueline Talley kept the Royals in the match throughout with five saves and faced 13 shots from the Oaks during the match.

"I feel like this has become [a theme] – we're battling, it's pretty even, and then Jazzmyn does something special and gives us that little extra," Coach Matt Sanger said after the win. "This game was really important… today we stepped up, Menlo is a fantastic team and that's the best keeper in the GSAC so it took some special goals to get two passed her. Menlo is a tough team to play against and score on, they play very organized on defense," Sanger said as credit to the hard fight from the visiting Menlo squad.

The Royals improve to 5-3-2 overall this season and are 2-0-1 in conference play this year, while Menlo falls to 4-3-2 overall and is still searching for a GSAC win after battling top-ranked Westmont and The Master's last week. HIU hosts William Jessup this Saturday at noon and Menlo will face off against Vanguard this Saturday to complete the road trip to Southern California.

W - Soccer
Overall GSAC Streak
7-6-3 (.531) 4-3-2 (.556) Won 1