Women’s soccer season ends in quarterfinal shootout
October 31, 2014Tweet
Host and third-seeded New Hampshire (7-8-3) scored all four of its penalty kicks in the shootout to advance over sixth-seeded Binghamton (7-9-3) in an America East quarterfinal game Oct. 30 at Bremner Field in Durham, N.H. The teams tied 1-1 through regulation and two sudden-death overtime periods before UNH won the shootout 4-2 to end Binghamton’s season.
The Bearcats forced overtime with a dramatic goal in the game’s final minute - the team’s third straight late-game clutch goal. But after the teams played 20 minutes of scoreless overtime, Binghamton misfired on two of its four kicks from the spot and UNH banged home all four to create the margin.
“I’m really proud of our team and their effort these last two weeks,” head coach Sarah McClellan said. “It’s a tough way to end the season ... but we showed great strength to come from behind in these last three games.”
Freshman back Valerie McNamara was credited with the game-tying goal on a header. With the clock winding down and Binghamton scrambling for a last chance, the Bearcats earned a corner kick and junior midfielder Rebecca Raber sent a curling ball to the near post, where a UNH defender just got a piece of a clear attempt. The ball popped out to McNamara near the top of the box and she sent a high-arching header toward the far post. A cluster of four players converged on the ball and it wound up carrying into the net for the equalizer. The goal was McNamara’s second of the season and Raber notched her team-high fourth assist.
Freshman keeper Katie Hatziyianis kept Binghamton alive in the overtime periods. She made a solid charging save early in the first extra session and then made a diving save with 6:42 left in the second overtime. On the play, the UNH striker had a clear look from 16 yards and sent a laser toward the top netting, only to see Hatziyianis fully extend above her head and punch the ball over the bar with her right hand.
But in the shootout, UNH was on target with four sharply struck balls that Hatziyianis had no chance to save. Raber began the shootout with a goal and McNamara extended it with another goal on Binghamton’s fourth shot. But Wildcat keeper Mimi Borkan saved one Binghamton attempt and another bounced off the goal post. Kirsten O’Neill clinched the match with a clean goal to the right corner on UNH’s fourth attempt.
The Wildcats opened the scoring with a solo effort from leading scorer Brooke Murphy in the 62nd minute. Murphy picked up a loose ball on her defensive side of the halfway line and proceeded to dribble 40 yards into wide-open space before unleashing a rocket from 22 yards. Senior keeper Gaby Gold got fingers on the shot but it had too much force. Gold played 74 minutes before giving way to Hatziyianis and made several key stops in each half, including a leg save on a chance in the 35th minute and another cover-up on a dangerous loose ball in front of the net early in the second half. She made seven saves and Hatziyianis was credited with four stops in her 36 minutes.