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HILLSBORO, Ore. — Junior midfielder/forward Aurora Bodenhamerconverted a golden penalty kick in the 98th minute to complete her first career brace and lead the Portland State women's soccer team to a 2-1 win over Southern Utah in its Big Sky opener Friday at Hillsboro Stadium.
Bodenhamer's penalty marks the second straight home match in which the Vikings (3-6-0, 1-0-0 Big Sky) have won on a penalty kick in overtime, following senior midfielder/forward Cori Bianchini's game-winner in the team's 1-0 win over Air Force on Sept. 13.
The Vikings also snapped Southern Utah's four-game win streak with their win Friday, and dropped the Thunderbirds to 5-4-0 overall and 0-1-0 to start Big Sky play.
"Aurora has been putting in the work and continues to do so. She's been improving and hopefully this is just the beginning of all her work paying off," PSU head coach Laura Schott after the match.
Bodenhamer both took and earned the penalty kick for the Vikings, as a Southern Utah defender fouled her just inside the box with two minutes, 15 seconds left in the first overtime period. Bodenhamer slotted the ensuing PK to the left of Southern Utah goalkeeper Taylor Bolding, who was late to react, giving the Vikings the win in overtime.
The penalty put a perfect finish on the first brace of Bodenhamer's Portland State career, as the junior, who doubled her career goals total with Friday's brace, also opened the scoring for the Vikings in the seventh minute of the match. Bodenhamer, who was also making her first start of the season in Friday's match, staked out the early lead for the Vikings when she fielded a one-time clearance from the Southern Utah defense following a ball in from freshman midfielder Rachel Ross. Bodenhamer got the ball at the top right of the box and flicked the ball to the far post and past Bolding in the Southern Utah goal.
Bodenhamer's early goal seemed to spark the Vikings, as they kept up the pressure on the Southern Utah defense following the score.
Freshman defender Dallin Esmond and sophomore midfielder Katie Forsee nearly connected for a second goal in the 17th minute, when a long ball up from Esmond found Forsee perfectly in stride up the left side of the field. Forsee tried crossing a left-footed shot past Bolding to the right post, but Bolding made a diving save on the ground to keep her team in the match.
Bolding's efforts were rewarded soon afterwards, too, as the Thunderbirds broke through with their lone goal of the match in the 25th minute. The Thunderbirds' Shelby Green won a Portland State goal kick in the air to start the threat, as she directed the ball to teammate Logan Harker to start the attack. From there, Harker quickly found a streaking Paige Robins in the middle of the field, where Robins was able to slot a shot past PSU goalkeeper Angela Haluska.
Other than that play, the Vikings controlled the possession throughout the match, and set a new season high for shots while outshooting the Thunderbirds 21-6.
Twelve of the Vikings' 21 shots came in the second half, as the Vikings battled frustration as they pushed to break the tie in regulation.
"Remaining tied for much of the match can be frustrating when you are creating good chances, but our team handled it well and has been handling challenges well all year," Schott said.
Ross had a good look at a shot in the 56th minute, as she took a small touch back from redshirt sophomore midfielder Breanne Chilton-Eddy and rocketed a shot from 25 yards out that sailed just over the crossbar.
The Vikings found another chance in the 76th minute, when Esmond and Forsee combined again on a long ball into the box. Forsee ran onto Esmond's ball just off the right post this time, and got loose for a header from close range, but was pinned against the end line enough that she couldn't get a good angle on it, making it an easy save for Bolding.
The Vikings' best chance at a second goal in regulation came less than 90 seconds after that, as Bianchini and redshirt junior midfielder Whitney Hilde combined in the center of the field to send a ball up to a charging Krystal de Ramos. Ramos ran onto Hilde's pass with just the goalkeeper to beat, but her right-footed shot rolled just outside of the left post and out for a goal kick.
The Thunderbirds, meanwhile, had one final chance at a game-winner in the 95th minute, when Robins got loose again for a dangerous curling shot off the left post. Robins' shot didn't quite curl enough, though, and sailed out of bounds past Haluska's diving hands.
The Vikings will now look to keep their momentum going as preseason conference favorite Northern Arizona visits the Vikings Sunday with kickoff set for 1 p.m. (PT) at Hillsboro Stadium.
Match Notes: The Vikings improve to 3-1-1 all-time against Southern Utah with Friday's win, as well as 2-1-1 all-time in Big Sky matches…Bodenhamer's seven shots Friday were the most by a Viking in a single match since senior defender/forward Tamia Hasan recorded seven in the Vikings' 1-1 draw with Boise State on Aug. 24, 2014…Bodenhamer's brace was also the first brace by a Viking since Hasan scored two goals in the Vikings' 2-0 win over Sacramento State on Oct. 31, 2014, which was also the last time the Vikings scored multiple goals in a match as a team.