NORTHEASTERN, DELAWARE ADVANCE TO CAA WOMEN'S SOCCER SEMIFINALS
#6 Northeastern 1, #3 George Mason 1 (NU advances 4-2 on PK's)
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (November 3, 2011) – Sixth-seeded Northeastern advanced 4-2 on penalty kicks after battling to a 1-1 double-overtime tie with #3 George Mason in the first quarterfinal match of the 2011 Virginia 529 CAA Women’s Soccer Championship at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field in Williamsburg, Va.
The Huskies (9-9-2) will meet second-seeded VCU in the semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m. The Patriots, who were eliminated from the CAA Women’s Soccer Championship on penalty kicks for the second year in a row, closed the season with an 8-6-6 mark.
Northeastern freshman goalkeeper Paige Burnett stopped four shots during the first 110 minutes and then turned two more away during the penalty kick shootout. Meanwhile, the Huskies were a perfect 4-for-4 on their penalty kicks as Kirby Anderson, Hanna Terry, Greta Samuelsdottir and Georgina Kemp all found the back of the net.
“In PK’s the pressure is on the shooter,” Burnett said. “I knew if I could just stop one, I’ve give our team a chance.”
After battling to a scoreless draw through 83 minutes, the action picked up in the waning moments of regulation. George Mason’s Kelly Thomas launched a free kick from just past midfield that was flicked from the head of Jazmin Cardoso to junior forward Tiana Kallenberger at the left side of the box. One-on-one with Burnett, Kallenberger dribbled toward the left end line and slid a six-yard shot across the goalmouth into the right corner with 6:09 to play. It was Kallenberger’s team-leading seventh goal of the season.
With 4:36 to go in regulation, Burnett charged to the top of the box to smother another Kallenberger scoring attempt and set the stage for a dramatic Huskies’ rally. In the final minute, Northeastern’s Kirby Anderson sent a long free kick from the left sideline through the box to an unmarked Awnalisa Walker. The freshman defender fired a 10-yard shot just inside the right post with 45.2 seconds to go to tie the match at 1-1 and force overtime.
“I don’t think in my career that I’ve been part of a goal like that on a championship stage,” said Northeastern coach Tracey Leone. “Our team didn’t stop fighting or stop believing. We’re thrilled to be moving on.”
The Huskies had a quality scoring chance in the first overtime as Samuelsdottir took a hard 10-yard shot from the right side of the box that was deflected by Mason goalkeeper Lyndse Hokanson. Mason had a great opportunity to score in the second extra session but Lowry’s 15-yard attempt was knocked away by a diving Burnett.
Both teams took two shots and had one good scoring chance in an evenly played opening half. The Patriots’ opportunity came in the first five minutes of the match. A deflection off a corner kick landed at the feet of Mason’s Lowry, who took a quick dribble and then launched a hard shot that caromed off the crossbar from 10 yards out.
With less than seven minutes to go until halftime, Northeastern’s Veronica Napoli came up with a failed clear and found herself wide open in the box, but her 15-yard shot was turned away on a diving stop by Hokanson.
Mason finished the game with a 14-10 advantage in shots, including 8-5 in the second half.
“I thought we deserved a better result,” Mason coach Diane Drake said. “We did everything we needed to do on the attacking end, but just lost track on an attacking piece.”
#4 Delaware 1, #5 Hofstra 0
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (November 3, 2011) – Junior forward Ali Miller scored from 25 yards out in the 70th minute to lift fourth-seeded Delaware to a 1-0 victory over #5 Hofstra in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Virginia 529 CAA Women’s Soccer Championship Thursday night at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field.
The victory sends the Blue Hens (10-6-4) into Friday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal game against top-seeded William & Mary. Hofstra, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped, dropped to 10-8. It’s Delaware’s first trip to the CAA semifinals since 2005.
“I feel like we played one of the better games we’ve played all year,” said Delaware coach Scott Grzenda. “We know we can create opportunities and attack and now we know we have players who can finish. It was a pleasure to watch.”
After putting constant offensive pressure on the Pride throughout the second half, Delaware was able to get on the scoreboard with just over 20 minutes to play. Miller got the ball in space just outside the box in the middle of the field and sent a left-footed laser just inside the right post. It was her team-leading 13th goal of the season.
“I looked up and saw that I had room,” said Miller of the game-winning shot. “I aimed for the lower corner and was glad it went in. Winning that game is one of the best feelings I’ve had in my life.”
Delaware out-shot the Pride 20-12, including 11-5 in the first half. Miller took a team-high six shots, with five of them on net. Hofstra was forced to compete with only 10 players over the final 28:25 after defender Brooke Bendernagel was issued a second yellow card.
Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Morphitis, who posted shutouts in Hofstra’s final three regular-season games, did her best to keep the Pride in the game with nine saves. Senior Breanna Stemler stopped five shots for the Blue Hens and recorded her fifth shutout of the season.
Freshman Sam Scolarici took a team-high five shots for the Pride, including a header off a free kick that was saved by Stemler with just over a minute left in the contest.