Phillips Heads Bearcats to Victory with Three Seconds Left in Overtime

Women's Soccer Moment of the Year

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Soccer, by its very nature, is a low-scoring sport. One team might completely dominate its opponent for an entire match and, unfair as it may be, come away with nothing more than a draw.

On Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, it certainly seemed like Willamette University's women's soccer match against George Fox University was going to be one of those matches.

It was Senior Day at Sparks Field, and the Bearcats controlled every aspect of the game except the scoreboard. Over the course of 90 minutes plus overtime, the Bearcats outshot the Bruins 36-5, including a 15-3 advantage in shots on goal. WU registered a 9-1 edge in corner kicks, but a GFU defense led by First Team All-NWC goalkeeper Alyssa Montero kept the Bearcats off the board for the first 109:57 of the match.

Fortunately for the Bearcats, however, there are a full 110 minutes in overtime games.

With 14 seconds remaining, Willamette earned a corner kick. With the clock continuing to run, junior forward Sarah Desautels (Snohomish, WA/Glacier Park HS), the Bearcat closest to the corner flag, was forced to set up quickly while sophomore midfielder Jill Phillips (Fairbanks, AK/West Valley HS), who usually took WU's corners, ran to the penalty box instead.

Desautels sent in a line-drive cross that found Phillips right at the heart of the penalty box, and with just three seconds on the clock, Phillips' redirected header went into the upper left corner of the net, past Montero's outstretched arms.

For Phillips, a solid defensive midfielder who has started 34 of 40 matches and logged 3,275 minutes on the field in her two years as a Bearcat, it was a stunning way to score her first career goal.

For seniors Paige Lancourt (MF, Eagle, ID/Eagle HS), Nicole Price (GK, Auburn, WA/Thomas Jefferson HS), and Stephanie Kruger (D, West Linn, OR/West Linn HS), it was the best possible way to close out their Willamette careers.

And for a Bearcat women's soccer program steeped in tradition and success, it's yet another great moment for all to remember.

Jill Phillips scored her first career on a header with three seconds left on the clock, sending Willamette to a 1-0 victory over George Fox.

Jill Phillips scored her first career on a header with three seconds left on the clock, sending Willamette to a 1-0 victory over George Fox.

The Bearcats celebrate Phillips' goal on the field.

The Bearcats celebrate Phillips' goal on the field.