Soccer keeps hopes after 4-1 win over Hill

Soccer keeps hopes after 4-1 win over Hill

BY MICHAEL PARSONS / EFSC Athletics Communication

BREVARD COUNTY, FL – The Navarro College Bulldogs came into Tuesday’s Pool B game against Hill College knowing they didn’t just need to win … they needed to win by a lot.

And that’s just what they did.

Roneisha Frank had a hat trick and Laura Jansa followed up a header by Frank to score a crucial goal with just 21 seconds remaining as the ninth-seeded Bulldogs took out No. 5 Hill 4-1 at the NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer National Championship Tournament at Orlando Health Stadium on the campus of Eastern Florida State College.

The win gives the Bulldogs (15-5) a chance to get out of pool play and into the semifinals depending on the outcome of Wednesday’s game between Hill and No. 4 seed Lewis & Clark.

Should Hill win by shutout, Navarro would advance based on goal differential.

It was quite an effort for the Bulldogs on Tuesday, especially after losing 2-0 to Lewis & Clark on Monday.

“It was a fantastic game,” Navarro coach Alicia Wilson said. “I spoke to the team (Monday) and I told them if we really want to stay in the tournament, we’re going to have to score goals.

“We got one early and then we weren’t organized and they got one back. We knew we had to score goals to still have a chance to go through. We just have to watch and wait for the game tomorrow.”

Frank, who was in concussion protocol and had to sit out Monday’s game against Lewis & Clark, made sure her presence was felt early Tuesday as she scored in the game’s ninth minute.

“In my head, I just had plans to score,” Frank said. “We needed goals. Any ball I got around the area, I was just going to shoot it. I came out and I finished my goals, my opportunities.”

After Navarro went up 1-0, Hill College would tie it 11 minutes later when Risa Yamada found the back of the net.

But just as the first half was about to end, the Bulldogs turned up the heat. And Frank and Jansa played a big role in both of them.

First, it was Jansa taking a pass from Frank and breaking into the box. As the Hill defense started to collapse on her, Jansa passed the ball back to a wide-open Frank, who put it home with 3:13 left in the half.

Jansa and Frank connected again on a perfect corner kick with just 25 seconds remaining in the half to put Navarro in a commanding position with a 3-1 lead.

But in order to get an edge in goal differential, the Bulldogs needed one more. And it finally happened with 21 seconds remaining when Manami Okada put the ball in the box, Frank headed it and Jansa jumped on the rebound to give Navarro that all-important three-goal cushion.

“At the end, we were thinking we have to score another one or two (goals) in order to go forward,” Frank said. “As a team, we communicated that and we fought until the end. We did a good job.”