Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

Burnstedt’s golden goal wins it for Trojans

By Justin Webster | Apr 24, 2018
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo Senior Ella Pollet pushes the ball ahead for the Trojans against Columbus Community Monday night.

Fairfield hosted Columbus Community Monday night for a girls’ soccer match and got a full 90-plus minutes of action in before senior Kristin Burnstedt scored two late goals in front of her future college coach, who was visiting from Iowa Wesleyan, giving the Trojans a 3-2 confidence-building, non-conference win.

The Wildcats actually scored the first three goals of the game, an own-goal in the 11th minute and a pair of scores by junior Venessa Mena in the 16th and 25th minutes, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead for much of the game.

“Everything was clicking and we had full control of the game when an unlucky through ball beat our goalie,” said Columbus Community Head Coach Alfredo Piedre. “Other than that we were creating chances and should have put a couple more away, but didn’t. We weren’t taking shots and were trying to get 10 feet from the goalie when they need to shoot from outside the box. They have the foot to do it, but they just decided not to.”

With about 18 minutes remaining and the Trojans trailing by a goal, junior Bryanna Popejoy almost found the back of the net for the equalizer.

“I think my toe was up a little too far and it just nicked the goal at the top the only problem was my placement, other than that it was a great through ball by Emily [McAvan] who made a great pass through a bunch of defenders, and those are the types of looks that we need for our team especially.”

With less than five minutes remaining, Burnstedt broke free.

“We just caught their fast defender pushed a little too high,” said Fairfield skipper Brittany Winslow. “We were able to get that through ball, Kristin was able to make that run and the defense couldn’t quite catch up to her.”

The game went to extra time tied at 2-2 with two 10 minute sessions planned with a golden goal(first score wins) in effect.

If they still would have been tied after 20 minutes, the game would have been decided by penalty kicks, which would have been interesting since the Trojans were using their freshman backup goalie in the net due to sickness of their senior starter Kelsey Hollander.

Burnstedt found a crease again early in the first overtime, and put the ball in the back of the net for the come-from-behind victory.

“Possession is what really helped us in the midfield,” said Winslow. “Making sure we drop the ball back and then send it. They had a super fast sweeper, so we weren’t able to send ourselves or get that through ball everytime. Gaining possession in the midfield helped that.”

Popejoy knew it could come together for the Trojans.

“Meshing together and really knowing how each other plays and how we can react and benefit from each other, that’s something that’s going through my mind, especially late in this game. I was like, ‘OK, we need to focus on Kristen has a good touch and Emily has a good send and so does Alie [Kensett], so we need to unify that and put it together for a goal.’”

As for the play of the freshman Trisha Westphal in goal, Winslow was beaming with pride.

“She’s practiced for us and played goalie for all of our junior varsity games and she, without any hesitation said, “I got this.” It’s great for her to be able to step up and fill those shoes. Goalie is a huge weight on your shoulders because you have everyone in front of you, but you still always feel like a goal is your fault. She’s great and stays positive when she gets scored on and I’m really proud of her for having that attitude.”

The loss drops the Wildcats to 1-4 as they travel to Holy Trinity tonight, while the Trojans improve to 4-3 with all three defeats coming by a single goal.

Next up for Fairfield is Fort Madison tonight at home before the ladies of Troy travel to Mt. Pleasant Thursday in hopes of avenging their lone conference loss back on the 13th of this month.

“I’m super excited for these three games a week to be over with,” concluded Winslow. “It’s a lot for these girls and we don’t get much practice time in because, at what point do you only practice or watch film? I had to split that up last week and also work on team togetherness and we only had two nights last week to do that.”

Whatever happens, the girls are having fun, atleast Bryanna Popejoy.

“I love soccer. I love this environment and I just love being here. It’s something that I like to do and I look forward to in the spring.”

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