Late rally subdues Spartans in non-league meeting

Late rally subdues Spartans in non-league meeting

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Freshman midfielder Jenny Pudlo (Crown Point, Ind.) posted her first collegiate goal Saturday, Sept. 20, but visiting Otterbein University put together a comeback in the final nine minutes to dash Manchester University's hopes.

The Spartans, dipping to 2-5 in the midst of a fierce non-league schedule, battled their Ohio Athletic Conference opponents to a scoreless first 45 minutes. MU got the home crowd at Spartan Field to its feet in the 73rd minute when Pudlo guided the ball past Cardinals' goalkeeper Dana Strimbu.

With senior goalkeeper Emily Willmann (Montpelier, Ind.) keeping Otterbein's offense at bay, it appeared as if the lone score would stand. However, the visitors (2-2-3) cracked through the Black and Gold defense with the game-tying score in the 81st minute. Less than two minutes later, OU's Jillian Strimbu got a free kick near the penalty box and lofted it into the net for the eventual game-winning score of the 2-1 final.

Willmann, entering the match ranked amongst the nation's top 50 in total saves, added eight more. MU's offense put up eight shots with junior midfielder Bridgette Rowe (La Quinta, Calif.) registering two.

The Spartans wrap up a current string of three successive matches against the OAC, hosting Wilmington College Saturday, Sept. 27. Kickoff is 1 p.m.