Blue Jays Defense and Lawton Penalty Kick Goal Carry Jays to SLIAC Tournament Semifinal Victory

Maddy Lawton (12)
Maddy Lawton (12)

St. Louis, Mo., April 21, 2021 – The #3 seeded Westminster College women's soccer team came into todays semifinal matchup with the #2 seeded Webster University Gorloks with a lot to prove.  The Gorloks beat the Blue Jays last Wednesday in Fulton as the Gorloks were able to spoil senior day with a 1-0 win. The win also served as a tie breaker for the #2 seed and home field for the semifinal.  The Jays were without leading goal scorer and points leader Natalie Schulte for that game. This time around the motivated Blue Jays were up to the task and scored an exciting 2-1 victory on the road to earn a date with the undefeated Fontbonne University Griffins on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the SLIAC Tournament Championship Game.

The Blue Jays wasted no time getting going as in the 8th minute Schulte played a beautiful through ball to Rachel Nolte who carried the ball toward the goal. The Webster keeper raced off of her line to get to Nolte but as they both reached the 18-yard line Nolte would place the ball past the racing keeper and into the goal for a 1-0 lead.

Webster would not wait very long to answer the Blue Jay goal as in the 15th minute Webster's Payton Williams found herself well outside of the box would make a move to her right to clear a Blue Jay defender and rip a shot from about 24 yards out high and to the far left post out of the reach of Jays keeper Megan Davidson and the game was tied 1-1. 

The game remained 1-1 into halftime as both teams had opportunities to score but could not find the back of the net.  The best chance by the Gorloks was turned away by Davidson in the 37th minute when Williams would again blast a shot that Davidson would dive to her left to make the save and keep the game tied going into half.

In the second half Webster continued to mount pressure on the Blue Jay defense but the Jays would time and time again turn them away.  Davidson would turn in the defensive play of the game in the 69th minute when the Gorloks would send a cross into the box that Jordan Lande would volley towards the far post but Davidson sprawling to her right would just be able to punch it away to keep the game tied.  

In the 89th minute after a Blue Jay throw in inside the Gorlok defensive third, Schulte would find herself with the ball just inside the box on the right side of the goal where she would be taken down by a Gorlok defender.  The center official would confer with the assistant referee on that sideline to confirm the location of the foul and a penalty shot was awarded to the Blue Jays with 1:34 showing on the clock.  The Blue Jays defender Maddy Lawton would come up from the back to take the PK.  Her shot went low and to the right, the Gorlok keeper dove to her left but she wasn't fast enough as Lawton's shot settled in the back of the net setting off a raucous celebration with the score now 2-1 in favor of the Blue Jays.  The Jays were able to kill off the last 1:34 and celebrate the 2-1 victory sending them to Saturday afternoons SLIAC Tournament Championship Game.

The Blue Jays were outshot 28-16 in the game including being outshot 11-6 shots on goal.  The Gorloks also held a small lead in corner kicks in the match 6-5.  The Blue Jays defense led by Davidson, who made 10 saves on the day, kept them in it long enough to get to that decisive attack in the final 2 minutes and now the Blue Jays are one win away from a SLIAC Conference Tournament Championship.