Concordia junior Sam Johnson watches her header go into the net in the Cobber's shootout loss against Carleton on Tuesday.
|A Mess of a Shootout!|
*Carleton advances on PK's
- Gameday Program (word)
MOORHEAD, Minn. (11/03/09)-- Concordia had their MIAC tournament championship hopes dashed in a messy shootout on Tuesday. The Cobbers conceded the game-tying goal in the final three minutes of regulation against Carleton in the conference semifinal and then neither team was able to score in overtime before the Knights advanced in the shootout.
The shootout loss snaps the Cobbers' streak of five consecutive MIAC tournament final games. The game goes into the record book as a tie and puts Concordia's record at 16-0-2 for the year. Carleton remains unbeaten in its last nine games and moves to 9-5-5 on the year.
The game was a match-up of the top two conference rivals. The teams have battled in two of the last three MIAC tournament championship games with the Knights prevailing in last year's game and Concordia earning a shootout win in the 2006 championship contest. During the 2009 regular-season the teams also played 110 minutes of soccer and found the score deadlocked at 1-1.
The semifinal game on Tuesday fit right into the tight-game theme between the two teams. The story of the game was the outstanding play of both goalies. Carleton goalie Kate Trennary had several huge saves in regulation and then stole the show in the shootout, making three penalty kick saves. Like the entire season, Concordia keeper Ali Nelson was solid all game long.
Carleton had the better of the play in the first half as the Knight midfield held the advantage and the Carleton backs didn't allow entry passes into the dangerous Cobber forwards.
The Concordia midfield picked up its play in the second half and that led to more consistent chances for CC. Concordia had two big opportunities in the first five minutes of the second period. Both chances came at the back post. The first came when Sue Obermiller ran onto a cross a hit a shot that Trennary blocked after covering the ground on the cross. Abby Habein then had a header hit the post and spin outside at the 49:25 mark.
From there, the game slowly eroded into a scene where Carleton was just trying to play the ball on the Concordia back line and the Cobbers were just trying to keep it out of their defensive third. Unfortunately for CC they were unable to big the defensive shell for the entire 24 minutes remaining in the game. The Cobber almost came away with the win but the Knights' most dangerous player, Niki Tomita, was able to get free at the top of the box with under three minutes to play. Tomita took a pass from Merritt Swain off of an errant clearing attempt and calmly buried it in the right corner of the goal. For Tomita it was her ninth score of the season and seventh goal in the past four games.
At the end of regulation, Concordia held a 16-11 advantage in total shots which included an 12-6 edge in the second half alone. The Cobbers also had a decisive 7-3 margin in shots on goal in the second period.
Fatigue took its toll on both teams in the overtime periods. The teams combined for only five total shots in the 20 minutes of extra play. Carleton had a 4-1 advantage in shots in overtime. They also had a 2-1 in shots on goal.
Carleton won the toss heading into the shootout and elected to shoot first. Tomita opened the PK shootout by slotting home a shot in the right hand corner. Johnson went next for Concordia and her initial shot was saved by Trenarry but the referee rules that she moved early. Johnson would not be twice and tied the shootout at 1-1. Unfortunately it would be the last converted PK of the day for CC. After Marlena Hartman-Filson scored on the second PK, the Cobbers were stopped on a great save by Trennary. A Knight miss was followed by a miss from CC and then Lily Vanderstaay converted, to give Carleton a 3-1 lead. Facing the elimination kick, Concordia's fourth try was once again denied by Trennary.
Concordia will have to wait until Monday morning to find out if they receive an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Cobbers, at 16-0-2, are almost a shoe-in for a bid into the national tournament and still have an outside shot at hosting games in the playoffs.