Super Falcons star Onyi Echegini has expressed her delight at scoring against Pittsburgh’s head coach Randy Waldrum, who had given her the international debut with Nigeria, Soccernet.ng reports.
Echegini’s game-winning goal led the Florida State women’s soccer team to a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday.
This match took on a significant dimension as Echegini went head-to-head against Waldrum, as the Seminoles aimed to extend their undefeated streak to 12 games.
Echegini and Waldrum spent time together on the Nigeria Women’s National Team.
Waldrum, who was appointed as the head coach in 2020, guided the Super Falcons to an impressive appearance at the World Cup.
Echegini was part of the historic roster that secured Nigeria’s only World Cup win in the summer, defeating co-host Australia 3-2 and reaching the Round of 16.
Fast forward to October, and Echegini and Waldrum met again, this time in Tallahassee, where the Seminoles faced the Panthers.
Three minutes after Jordynn Dudley’s goal, Echegini scored, tying her for the team’s leading position in goals and marking her first goal against her national team coach.
After the encounter, Echegini revealed she was pleased with her goal.
“It always feels good when I can do something for my team,” the young forward said.
“It is a nice feeling to score against my coach in Nigeria, but honestly, I want to do whatever I can to help the team win.”
Echegini’s goal was crucial, as Pitt scored in the 81st minute. Had Echegini not added what seemed like an insurance goal, the game could have easily ended in a tie.
Pitt head coach Waldrum acknowledged Echegini’s prowess around the goal and regretted not closing in on her.
Waldrum said: “She’s very good around the goal, but we didn’t close her. We just stayed off of her. Our defenders 2 yards away and never step to close it.”
“A good player like her will punish you if you don’t do that.”
FSU head coach Brian Pensky praised Echegini’s performance and mentioned that she excels when playing close to the goal.
“We probably played her more minutes than we would’ve liked to, but we didn’t feel like we wanted to take her off the field,” Pensky said.
“We always feel like she has the potential to score a goal. We tell her that she’s best when she’s close to the goal.
“She played up top last week, scored twice, and tonight she played up top and scored once. “I think it was a special moment for her, given the fact that it was against her coach.”
Echegini and Waldrum will likely work together again when the Super Falcons take on Ethiopia over two legs later this month.