WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Gardner-Webb defeated New Hampshire, 1-0, Friday in the opening match of the 2016 Demon Deacon Classic on the campus of Wake Forest University.
"We did a good job coming out of the gates, seizing control of tempo early in the match ," said head coach Mike Varga. "We had a good chance when a shot hit the crossbar in the first half as a result. In the second half, UNH battled and took it to us. Our ladies regrouped to start the overtime and Brandi [Arey] was dangerous early in extra time – then she was able to score to deliver a win."
The Runnin' Bulldogs (1-2-2) created the first opportunity of the match for either team as Stina Kleppe had a shot just 6 minutes into the match that was saved by New Hampshire's keeper Mimi Borkan.
The two teams' defensive units held strong as neither team would have a chance at a goal until New Hampshire's Brooke Murphy would have two corner kicks in a 60 second span that would both be stopped by the Gardner-Webb defense in the 24th and 25th minutes.
The Runnin' Bulldogs came back with an attempt just a minute later as Eline Glamsland tried to build on her stellar freshman campaign as she had a shot that went just high.
The 'Dogs would have a chance just three minutes later as senior midfielder Justine Ibarra looked to tally the first goal of her season when she put pressure on Wildcats' keeper and forced her to make a save off a blistering shot.
Gardner-Webb's closest chance came in the 42nd minute as Ibarra would find freshman teammate Kleppe off a corner that hit just high of the New Hampshire keeper and clanged off of the crossbar.
Both teams would each have one more chance to break the 0-0 tie as the half wound down and come to a close.
New Hampshire would have a flurry of shots on goal in a 3-minute span that started in the 49th minute as Brooke Murphy would fire three shots on or near GWU keeper Brown. Brown would save two of the three shots, as one ended up going high over the net.
Gardner-Webb picked up the pace, attempting four shots over the next 10 minutes that would force New Hampshire's defense and keeper to work – but none of the four shots could break the scoreless tie.
Gardner-Webb would have three opportunities in the final 30 seconds as Ibarra had three corner kicks that would be stopped by the stout New Hampshire defense.
After the Wildcats opened up the overtime period with a shot by Gaby Dorsey in the 92nd minute – one that was turned away by Brown – Gardner-Webb responded with an onslaught of shots over a 60-second span. Arey had two attempts that went wide of the net and Samuelle Grove had another attempt that was saved by Borkan.
Arey finally broke the tie and won the match, as Arey connected from 25 yards out for her first goal of her senior season. Ibarra dropped off a pass that found Arey wide open, as she rocked a shot that went soaring past Borkan and into the upper half of the net in the 97th minute.
Arey led Gardner-Webb with five shots (two on goal) and the only score of the match. New Hampshire got Brooke Murphy (three shots on goal).
Gardner-Webb will return to action this Sunday, September 4 against Dartmouth University as they finish up at the Demon Deacon Challenge. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:30 am.