ST. PAUL, Minn. – Double overtime wasn’t enough to decide a winner in Wednesday’s Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s soccer semifinal playoff match. Tied 1-1 after 110 minutes and forced to penalty kicks, Gustavus Adolphus keeper Ashley Becker (Jr., Farmington, Minn.) came up big with two stops and the Gusties, seeded No. 6, made all four attempts to upset No. 2 seed St. Thomas and advance to the MIAC championship game for the second time in three seasons.
It didn’t take long for the Gusties to gain some momentum as Abby Mullenbach (So., Lakeville, Minn.) scored 1:15 into the game, assisted by Emily Skogseth (Jr., Burnsville, Minn.). In the 22nd minute, St. Thomas responded with a goal and the score remained tied 1-1 at halftime.
“It was a very exciting game today,” Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie said. “Loved the determination and fight we played with. We came out strong from the first whistle, scoring within the first two minutes of the game off a well crafted corner kick. We moved the ball well and had territorial advantage for the majority of the first 15 minutes before they changed shape.”
In the waning moments of the second half, Becker made a game-saving stop on a Tommie shot fired from inside the box, which eventually led to overtime. Each team got one shot off in the first overtime, and the Tommies recorded the only shot in double overtime, but no goals resulted in penalty kicks.
“Second half we came out with a lot of fight and heart,” Burnett-Kurie said. “We trusted each other and played for each other. Our entire roster dug deep in the second half forcing the game into OT.”
Both teams made their first penalty kick, but Becker made a diving stop on the Tommies’ second attempt. Emily Odermatt (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn.) put the Gusties up one with a make, while Becker followed with another stop on the Tommies’ third attempt. The next attempt by each team was made, but Chase Miller (Jr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) netted the game-winner with a make on the fourth Gustie attempt to complete the upset.
“We’ve been preparing for PK’s and our players trusted their preparation,” Burnett-Kurie said. “They were confident, calm and collected – all of which showed as they buried all four. Absolutely love the fight and heart of this team.”
The Gusties were outshot 15-6 throughout the game, but Becker stood tall in goal with eight saves and two penalty kick stops to earn the win.
Gustavus will travel to the winner of No. 1 Ausgburg and No. 5 St. Catherine, who play at 7 p.m. tonight, for the conference championship at 1 p.m. Saturday.
SOURCE: Gustavus Adolphus Athletics Press Release