UNCW Returns To Finals With Shootout Win
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia - Third-seeded UNCW advanced past No. 2 seed Drexel, 4-1, on penalty kicks after the two sides played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw in the semifinals of the 2012 CAA Women's Soccer Championship Friday at Martin Family Stadium at Albert/Daly Field.
Playing in their second straight shootout, the Seahawks moved to 12-6-3 on the season as they advanced to Sunday's championship contest, where they will face No. 5 seed Hofstra, who also advanced to the championship on penalty kicks, defeating top-seeded William & Mary, 4-2, in a shootout after the two sides played to a scoreless draw. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. The Dragons, who were making their first appearance in the CAA Women's Soccer Championship, finished the season with a 13-3-3 overall record.
With the score tied at 1-all after regulation and two 10-minute overtime sessions, the two teams went to a five-player shootout to determine who would advance to Sunday's championship contest.
Senior Ali Nagle put UNCW up 1-0 as she converted her opportunity in the top half of the first round while Drexel was unable to answer as its attempt hit found the crossbar.
Senior Lindsay Henry put the Seahawks up 2-0 in the top of the second round. The Dragons bad luck continued in the bottom half of the frame, however, as their second try glanced off the outside of the right post.
The two sides traded goals in the third round with UNCW sophomore Mary-Chesnut Smith and Drexel junior Sam Greenfield converting their attempts to make it a 3-1 contest.
Senior Stephanie Rose would bring the shootout to a close in the top of the fourth round, sending her try into the upper right-hand corner of the net to give UNCW a 4-1 shootout victory and send the Seahawks to their second championship game appearance in four seasons. UNCW won the 2009 championship with a 1-0 victory over James Madison.
After no goals and very few scoring chances over the first 80 minutes of the contest, both teams got on the board in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Drexel drew a little more than five minutes after McCormick's tally when sophomore Melissa Chapman corralled a loose ball at the top of the box and sent a volley into the upper left-hand corner of the net for her fourth goal of the season.
Both teams had chances to end the game in the first overtime session. Junior Nicole Costa headed a cross from junior Natalie Winslow that slipped just outside the left post for UNCW at the 91:20 mark while Greenfield rang a shot off the crossbar for Drexel from 22 yards out in the 95th minute.
In the second overtime session, UNCW appeared to have scored the game-winning goal in the 107th minute, but the Seahawks were called for offsides. Drexel countered with a pair of point-blank chances in the final minute of the session, but Seahawks senior keeper Caitlin Hunter made the save on both tries to preserve the 1-1 tie.
Drexel posted a 22-10 shot advantage in the contest, highlighted by a 17-5 edge in the second half and overtime. The Dragons also held a slim 2-1 margin in corner kicks taken. Hunter made eight saves for the Seahawks while Badana finished with five stops for the Dragons.