BREVARD, N.C. – A free position goal by Brevard's Nina Siu with 8:01 remaining in the second half, coupled with sound defense, proved to be the difference as the Tornados earned a 13-12 victory over visiting Piedmont at Ives-Lemel Field on Wednesday evening.
Knotted 12-all, Siu capitalized on a foul by the Lions' Kaitlyn Morris as she tallied the decisive goal on a free position shot. The Tornado defense rose to the occasion for the remainder of the game to move to 5-7 on the season.
The two teams battled throughout the day with neither team able to hold more than a two-goal lead at any point throughout the game. Siu finished with a game-high six goals, while Victoria Hayes added three and Hunter Denney contributed two for the Tornados.
Piedmont (9-6) was led by the combination of Cassidy Heflin and Erin Aylward, who finished with three goals each, while teammates Emma Fransen and Rowan Bumpass tallied two apiece.
The Lions placed the first point on the board just over a minute into the contest when Domonique Steele scored an unassisted goal. Siu retaliated with an unassisted strike of her own at the 23:48 mark to bring the game to a 1-1 deadlock.
Piedmont moved back in front when Heflin found the back of the net at 21:01, but back-to-back goals by Micaiah Vacchiano and Victoria Hayes, which came at the 18:15 mark, provided the Tornados with a 3-2 edge.
Bumpass knotted the game at three, following a pass from Heflin, but scores by Siu and Kelly Kearnan stretched the Tornado lead to 5-3 with 14:38 remaining in the first. Piedmont regained the lead with three unanswered goals over a 4:48 stretch to assume the one-goal advantage.
Siu brought the contest to a six-all deadlock, but the tandem of Aylward and Heflin forged Piedmont back in front by one with 5:12 left. Kearnan found an opened Denney for the seventh Brevard goal of the half and Hayes found the back of the net with 2:46 left, pushing Brevard in front 8-7.
Piedmont used a goal by Fransen with 46 seconds left in the half to force an eight-all deadlock at the intermission.
The two units amped up their defensive pressure in the second half, but that didn't prevent Siu from scoring her fourth goal of the game almost 10 minutes into the frame. Piedmont answered with strikes by Fransen and Heflin to assume the 10-9 lead, but Siu again came through in the clutch for the Tornados with an unassisted strike with 14:05 left.
Denney put Brevard back in front with her second goal of the game and Hayes stretched the lead to two with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Lions countered with a pair of strikes by Aylward and Caitlin O'Brien, which came 22 seconds apart, to bring the game to a climatic 12-all deadlock.
Earning the victory for the Tornados in net was Shelby Arsenault, who made six saves. Kearnan, who finished with five groundballs, and Penina Fungalei (four groundballs) also made their defensive presence felt for Brevard.
The Tornados close out their home slate on Saturday, April 7th when they host Huntingdon at 1 p.m.