CHICAGO – Getting a huge game-winning goal by sophomore midfielder Cassie Pullia (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township) in the 104th minute of action, the Saint Xavier University women's soccer team upset No. 24 ranked Judson University (Ill.), 4-3, in double overtime Saturday afternoon at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. SXU found itself in an early hole as the visiting Eagles jumped out to a quick 2-0 advantage just 11 minutes into the first period. Sophomore forward Angela Bianchi recorded both early goals for JU. However, the Cougars battled back and tied the game heading into halftime behind goals by sophomore midfielder Danielle Inzinga (Orland Park, Ill./Marist) and senior defender Lauren Ciszewski (Alsip, Ill./Saint Ambrose/Marist).
Saint Xavier posted its first goal of the game in the 22nd minute off the leg of Inzinga. The score was set up by an assist from sophomore defender Shannon Spethman (Lincoln, Neb./Saint Pius X). SXU got its game-tying goal just before the halftime break in the 43rd minute of play on a ball that was cleared out and sent back in by Ciszewski. The score would remain tied, 2-2, until the 56th minute when freshman forward Lexi Cozzi (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) put the Cougars up, 3-2, by sending a hard shot into the lower left corner of the net. The Cozzi goal was set up by a pair of nice assists from sophomore midfielders Monica Chavolla (Chicago Heights, Ill./Bloom) and Marissa Graves (Joliet, Ill./Joliet West).
Unfortunately for Saint Xavier, Judson scored in the 65th minute to tie things up again and the score remained 3-3 through the end of regulation. Both teams failed to score in the first overtime forcing another 10-minute extra period. Just over three minutes later, Pullia took advantage of a deflected save near the front of the net and sent her game-winning shot past the JU keeper for the thrilling 4-3 victory. Freshman goalkeeper Courtney Jerzy (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township) was a key force in the game posting nine saves and coming up with an incredible game-saving stop in the first overtime period. SXU attempted 14 total shots in Saturday's game with 10 of them being on goal attempts. The Eagles finished with 17 total shots and 12 shots attempts on goal.
Saint Xavier (7-4-1 overall/3-2-0 CCAC) travels to Milwaukee, Wis., on Wednesday, October 10, to take on conference foe Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) for its next game. The match-up is set for a 7 p.m. start.