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Likely hero lifts women's soccer

Emma Tardiff playing soccer
Photo by Kimberly Moss

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Tied 0-0 heading into the final 15 minutes of play Wednesday evening at Mackenzie Field, the Kalamazoo College women's soccer team needed to pull out a win against Albion College to reclaim its spot atop the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association table.

The Hornets did just that courtesy of the team's leading scorer, Emma Tardiff.

Earning a corner kick in the 79th minute of play, Katie Sorensen served in a driven ball to the back post finding Paige Sambor. A clever header back across the top of the six allowed Tardiff to lunge forward and put the ball in the back of the net.

The goal was Tardiff's sixth of the season. Both Sorensen and Sambor were credited with assists.

"When the attacking rhythm is not there it is crucial to generate set pieces and scoring off the corner kick was critical to recording three more points in the league," Head Coach Bryan Goyings said. "Emma's offensive efficiency is exceptional near the goal. Her ability to create and convert goal scoring opportunities is a tremendous asset to the team."

The Hornets' result was justified as they dominated play and possession throughout the match. Kalamazoo ended with a 14-3 advantage in shots. Grace Smith was tasked with making just two saves to keep the clean sheet.

Goyings didn't feel the stats told the entire story of the game, though.

"Throughout the game I felt there were moments when we were caught over passing to try and generate offense," he said. "Albion deserves credit for making tonight's game a lot about ball winning and defending."

Kalamazoo, now 6-0-1 in the MIAA, will finish the first half of conference play this Saturday, Oct. 1 when the Hornets host Olivet. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. at MacKenzie Field.