Tigers Storm Back for 3-2 Comeback Victory

Photo Courtesy of Sean Kahler
Photo Courtesy of Sean Kahler

East Lansing, Mich. – The Pacific Tigers defeated the Michigan State Spartans early Sunday morning, ending up with a 3-2 win.  Pacific fell behind 2-0 early in the second half, only to tie the game with two goals in three minutes.  The Tigers took their first lead of the game at 69:59, earning the victory just as time expired.  "We dug ourselves into a hole against a team we were dominating against," said Coach Andy Smith, who praised his team's "heart and meddle" in the comeback.

Pacific recorded 20 shots in the game, their most this season since recording 24 against Saint Louis in a 3-0 victory.  The Tigers are now 7-5 this season and will play just one more road game this season when they travel to Stanford.

A back-and-forth game allowed for a plethora of shots by both teams early on.  Pacific record nine shots in the first half but went into the break down one thanks to a goal by Michigan State's Sophie Macadre.  It was Macadre's sixth goal of the season, coming from Mallory Tyler.  In all, the Spartans recorded 11 shots in the half, with Pujade making six saves.

The Tigers were able to keep their attack going as the second half began, with Kelsey Gulledge recording a shot on goal two minutes in that was turned aside by the Spartans.

Michigan State's first penalty corner of the half resulted in a goal, making it 2-0 at 41:37.  This time, Tyler scored, giving her three points in the game.  Macadre sent the ball in, with Simone Vagnoni stopping the ball.

Ali Campos almost scored on the first attack after the goal, only to have Michigan State's Bailey Higgins make a defensive save after Campos' shot got past the goalie.

Gulledge scored her third goal of the season, continuing to expand her career-high total.  Gulledge's goal came from a corner.  Savannah Burns took the initial shot from the corner, allowing Gulledge to get a piece of the ball and push it home to make the score 2-1.

The Tigers tied the game three minutes later thanks to Rylee Comeau's second goal.  A long pass from Burns reached Comeau in the circle, who was able to tip the ball in.  Burns' assist was her fifth, passing Katherine Egan for the team lead and matching her total from last season.

The game came to a dramatic conclusion when Campos scored on a penalty stroke as time expired to give Pacific the 3-2 victory.  It was Campos' fourth goal of the season and completed the comeback from two goals down for the Tigers.  "We showed a lot of resolve and I couldn't be prouder of the team," said Smith of his team's stunning effort in the last 15 minutes of the game.

Pacific will not leave California for the rest of the regular season with nothing but conference games left on the docket.  The Tigers will host California on Sunday, October 11 at 2:00 pm for their next game.

Make sure to follow Pacific field hockey on Twitter with the username @PacificTigersFH and on Instagram at pacifictigersfh.