WASHINGTON - A joyous celebration took place here Wednesday night after Gallaudet University defeated Washington Adventist University, 7-3, in a non-conference women's soccer game under the lights at Hotchkiss Field. The Bison huddled up near their bench as they learned they just set the school record for wins (8) and goals (53) in a season with tonight's victory.
"I am so proud of this group of women who have stepped up their game both on and off the field. They deserve to go down in history and receive recognition for their hard work and commitment," said Gallaudet coach Liza Offreda, now in her fourth season at the helm.
Gallaudet's most prolific scoring duo in its history, junior Brittany Mallach (Milton, Ontario) and freshman Danielle Wheeler (San Jose, Calif.), continued their quick ascent through the Bison record books. Mallach, who earlier this month, set the school record for goals in a season (17) added to her new record with two goals and one assist. Wheeler, much like her play on the field, has sprinted through the record standings. The talented forward tallied a hat trick tonight to give her 18 goals this season, as she surpassed the old record for goals in a season (16). Mallach (19g, 1a) and Wheeler (18g, 3a) lead the Bison with 39 points, a new single-season record, as they bested the old mark of 36 points with tonight's performances. Mallach is the all-time leading scorer in GU history with 38 goals and 81 points.
The Bison (8-7) raced out to a quick lead as Wheeler scored one minute and 26 seconds into the game. She added her second goal on a fast break 1-on-1 with the goalie, as she split through the Washington Adventist defense, in the 31st minute. Three minutes later, Wheeler assisted on Mallach's first goal of the game past Shock goalie Laura Perez (12 saves).
The Shock (4-11) received some luck on their first goal as Beatriz Crespin's hard shot deflected off the glove of Bison goalie Silvya Levesque (Balltson Spa, N.Y.) and spun backwards, untouched, into the goal in the 25th minute.
Gallaudet took a 3-1 lead into the half.
The Bison outscored the Shock, 4-2, in the second half. Freshman midfielder Hailey Montoya (Mentone, Calif.) got in on the action with two goals and an assist in the final 45 minutes of play. Wheeler completed her hat trick off an assist from Mallach at the 66:57 mark, while Montoya assisted Mallach on her second goal in the 84th minute.
Washington Adventist's second goal came off the head of Lesly Flores, who deflected Cristina Reyes' corner kick pass into the back of the net in the 56th minute. The Shock scored a third time when Crespin assisted Karis Powell on a high shot over Levesque (nine saves).
Prior to the start of the game, Coach Offreda and the team honored senior midfielder Abby Courtemanche (Southbridge, Mass.), along with her family, on Senior Night.
- GU held a 25-20 edge in shots and 7-4 advantage in corner kicks
- Wheeler led the Bison with 11 shots (nine on goal)
- Wheeler has five hat tricks this season
- Mallach has scored two or more goals in six games this season
- Wheeler's seven points are the second most in a game in her young career
- Wheeler has recorded 11 or more shots in four games
- This was the second multi-goal game for Montoya
"I am very fortunate to have a great coaching staff and players who are committed to rebuilding the program. Also, I want to thank the University, family, friends and our amazing fans for their support. I look forward to building from this year and aim higher!" - Liza Offreda, Gallaudet University women's soccer coach
Gallaudet will close out the regular-season schedule on Saturday, Oct. 28, at College of Saint Elizabeth (1-13-1) in a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) game at 2 p.m. The Bison (3-6 NEAC) will look to try and pick up a much needed win against the Eagles (1-8 NEAC) to improve their playoff chances. Around the same time, a crucial conference game will take place between Penn St.-Abington (6-9-1, 4-4-1 NEAC) and Lancaster Bible College (6-9-2, 5-3-1 NEAC) at 3:15 p.m. Both teams are 3-2 in the South Division while Gallaudet is 2-3 in the division. The Bison will need to win and an Abington victory to help their playoff chances since GU defeated LBC head-to-head this season.
The NEAC has a new playoff format this season as the top four teams from each division (North and South) will make the playoffs with the divisional record being the top priority compared to overall conference record. Official tournament selections and seeds won't be announced by the NEAC until all conference games have been played.