STIRLING Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat UWA Nedlands 3-2 for its first win of the Women’s Premier League soccer season on Sunday.
Goals from Alex Lyons and Jaime Blake had given UWA a 2-0 lead at half-time, before Stirling turned the contest on its head with two quick fire goals from Lara Ameduri and Brooke Johnston.
The comeback was completed in the final minute through an Eloise Arnold penalty.
Not only was it a first win of the season for Stirling, but it was also its first goals of 2018.
“It shows true the true character of the team,” Panthers coach Frank Paulino said.
“The girls are starting to understand the pace of the game and the Premier League.”
It was a clash between the league’s two only winless teams and Stirling started the game brighter and should have taken the lead through Arnold, but the midfielder dragged her effort wide.
UWA would find the lead, against the run of play, through Lyon’s long-range effort, catching Stirling goalkeeper Megan Binacoski off her line for the opening goal.
UWA would double their advantage soon after on the half-hour mark as Blake’s curling effort found the far corner after Stirling’s failed attempt to play out from the back.
Blake almost grabbed her second not long after when her thunderous strike crashed against the post.
Binacoski kept the gap at just two goals heading into half time with an important save before the interval.
The Panthers came out with a point to prove in the second half and found a way back into the contest 11 minutes after the restart through Ameduri’s first-time finish.
That gave the Panthers a newfound belief to pressure for an equaliser and they were soon rewarded when Johnson earned a penalty.
The striker stepped up and scored the follow up after her penalty was saved.
After failing to score in 506 minutes of play this season, Stirling suddenly had two goals in three minutes.
With time running out and Stirling pressing for a winner, Blake’s clumsy challenge resulted in a penalty for the Panthers.
Arnold stepped up with composure and dispatched the spot-kick to seal her side’s first win of the season.
“We lost focus and we got punished for it,” UWA coach Tony Carvajal said.
“All credit to them (Stirling), they could have easily have put their heads down, but they worked really hard and got themselves in the right spots and took their chances.”