COLUMBIA — The Stephens College soccer players and coaches had talked about it, wished for it, and planned for it, but when it finally happened, they couldn't believe it.
"A lot of us cried afterwards, because we were all really excited," said freshman Rose Baka, who scored in Stephens' 4-3 win Tuesday. "Happy tears."
Stephens' win is the first since the program was reinstated last year. The team beat Faith Baptist Bible College on Tuesday in Ankeny, Iowa..
Some late heroics were required for the win.
The Stars took the lead 30 seconds into the game off sophomore forward Ilia Siegwald's goal. Stephens added two more goals before halftime, but Faith Baptist Bible College tied it 3-3 midway through the second half.
After the tying goal was scored, coach Xander Kennedy thought it might be another disappointing result for his team.
"I, perhaps even more than some of the girls on the team, have been conditioned to assume that we can play pretty solid soccer, but we can't break through the barrier," Kennedy said. "It felt almost Hollywood-esque to give up the tying goal and see the team will themselves back into a victorious position."
In the 78th minute, with her team tied 3-3, junior Kenzie Andrade found a chance for a shot on a loose ball near the penalty-kick spot. She put the shot in the goal's lower corner and gave the Stars a 4-3 lead.
"We had dominated the entire first half, so I was willing to do just about anything to keep the lead," Andrade said.
Stephens responded with increased intensity to preserve the lead and the program's first victory.
"During the second half, I think I just was kind of refusing to lose," Andrade said. "It just wasn't going to happen."
The Stars will aim for its first winning streak when they travel to St. Louis on Saturday to face Missouri Baptist University.
Kennedy sees Tuesday's game as a turning point for his team, saying everyone played hard and played their positions well.
"It was the best game that I've seen us play ever," Kennedy said. "The most complete team effort."
Now that Stephens has its first win, players are excited for the rest of the season. But they also realize that they need to continue to build their program.
"It gives us less excuses to lose now," Andrade said. "But I think we're ready for that. I think we all know, after this win, we have to step up."
Supervising editor is Erik Hall.