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Ruby Hellstrom’s golden goal lifts Huskies in exhibition thriller

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Ruby Hellstrom dribbles with the ball in a 2018 match against SPU. The junior scored the game-winning goal in Washington's exhibition victory over Gonzaga Friday night. 

The Washington women’s soccer team was on the doorstep of victory, and then on the doorstep of a tie, and then eventually took the exhibition victory,  2-1, over Gonzaga with a goal in the final minute of the second overtime period.

Sophomore Ruby Hellstrom was the hero for the Dawgs today, smashing in her fifth shot with 10 seconds left in the match before it would be called a draw.

The forward created three opportunities to score in the final overtime period, with two shots on goal coming minutes before, but both attempts were saved. Midfielder Ameera Hussen assisted the golden goal.

To put the game in that situation, Sophia Viviano sent a ball past Washington keeper Dani Hansen to tie the game for the Bulldogs and send it to overtime.

The Zags outshot the Huskies 22-21 in the match in a fairly even contest throughout as the UW saw shots from 10 different Bulldog players. 

Despite having difficulty creating offense in the first half, the first UW goal came off the foot of junior Olivia Van der Jagt who led the team in goals a year ago and notched another one in the 69th minute, and it came off an assist from freshman defender Helena Reischling.

In the first half, the Huskies only forced one corner kick and and created six shots. They were able to tighten up that side of the ball after the break, by putting up 11 shots and earning seven corner kicks in the second half, leading to that 69th minute goal. 

Sophomore Dani Hansen got the start at keeper tonight for the first time in her UW career. Senior Siena Ruelas started every game last fall for the Dawgs, but the two split time in the box during the spring. Hansen recorded eight saves on 22 shots faced in her 110 minutes of action.

Hansen was one of four sophomores to get the starting nod in tonight’s exhibition.

Washington kicks off the regular season next week at home, hosting Portland next Friday at 7 p.m.

Reach reporter Josh Eddy at Twitter: @JoshTreEddy

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