The Brescia University Bearcats played their best game of the early season on Saturday as they were in control until 7 minutes remained in the game. The Bearcats found confidence in their passing game finally and nearly pulled off a huge upset at Kamuf Park over Oakland City.
Brescia started slow early in the game and were held at bay during the first 15 minutes. In the 16th minute, Kennedy Folse found the back of the net to give Oakland City a 1-0 lead. But the Bearcats responded in the 26th minute, Jessica Embry (JR/Owensboro, KY) was able to lay a nice slotted pass through to Kassi Gilbert (SO/Lebanon Junction, KY) who raced up the sideline and played a nice ball to the front of the goal that Nicole Gray (JR/Waterloo, IA) was able to net for the first goal of the season for the Bearcats as well as Nicole's first goal of her career. The Bearcats were not finished by a long shot. Eleven minutes later, Kassi Gilbert was able to find her own way into the goal scoring column as she slid one past a diving OCU keeper. The Bearcats managed three more shots before halftime with the best being a crushing one-touch shot by Haley Coons (JR/Owensboro, KY) that hit the crossbar. In the 41st minute, Madison Bleska took a fine shot for the Mighty Oaks that Brescia Keeper Jerrica Kidd (SR/Stanford, KY) was able to save in great fashion.
At the nine minute mark into the second half, it looked like Gilbert had netted another one, but Sydney Brooks was able to scramble and dive backwards and save the ball on the goal line. The Bearcats maintained composure until the 83rd minute where Maggie Hendricks found Kennedy Folse for the equalizer. With 4 minutes remaining, Lauren Rapp sent in a shot that was a common save, but the ball took a terrible bounce and found the back of the net.
Coach David Ralph was asked after the game how he felt being so close to victory. He said, "I hate to lose a game we had until 7 minutes showed on the clock because honestly it would have been a huge upset. Last year they beat us twice, but I felt we competed and our older players are finally figuring out how to play the game. Our young freshman are working their way into learning the college game. I wanted the win -- but this was a good team --- and we proved we could play with a quality team. I am never happy with a loss, but I am happy that we gained a great deal of confidence and finally played the way I know we can."