Women’s soccer team upsets no. 25 Siena Heights

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In a major upset, the Bethel College women’s soccer team upset no. 25 Siena Heights University on Wednesday night. On top of that, they beat the Saints on their home turf.
Junior forward Nicole Steller in the heat of the battle against Siena Heights.
The game was a tough, grind-it-out competition between the two teams and it soon became clear that the defenses would dominate. Both teams had their chances, but the score stayed knotted at zero. And it remained that way until about mid-way through the first half. The Saints finally got a ball through the back line of the Pilots’ defense and they had a breakaway. Surely, this was where Siena Heights would show why they were ranked no. 25 and pull away from the feisty Pilots. But nobody told Mallory Conrad about that plan. The freshman goalkeeper, who was making her first start, came up with a brilliant save keeping the game tied. Then in the thirty-first minute, the Pilots looked to their leaders for a spark. Senior midfielder Pua Hall played a beautiful ball through the defense and on the other end was the player who has performed when her team has needed her the most: junior forward Nicole Steller. Steller blew past the Siena Heights defenders and scored the go-ahead goal for the Pilots, who now led 1-0. This made for a gut-wrenching second half as both teams played with grit and determination. The Saints were desperately looking for the game-tying goal and the Pilots’ defenders were just trying to weather the storm. Siena Heights constantly tried rotating players and furiously sending attacks on goal to tie the score. Even so, Bethel almost extended their lead on a nice play by junior Darcy Brenneman. Brenneman took a shot on goal that eluded the goalie’s grasp but skimmed just over the top of the crossbar. After that scare, the Saints became even more frantic in their search for a goal – at one point even taking defenders off the field and adding in a few more attackers. But once again, the Pilots’ defense held strong thanks in large part to the brilliant play of their goalkeeper. Conrad made two more fabulous saves in the final seven minutes of the game. Then the horn sounded. After withstanding the final barrage, the Pilots had won. After the game, Coach Steve Dregits was thoroughly impressed with his team’s performance.  "I am extremely proud of the girls for their performance tonight." said Coach Dregits, as told to bethelcollegepilots.com. "It was a great team effort and Mallory came up with several game winning saves.  Tonight was the test we needed to pass before heading into conference play." The Pilots will look to stay hot as they start conference play against no. 9 Spring Arbor University at 7 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 25.  
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