Women shock No. 1 in shootout

The Seattle Pacific University women’s soccer program worked double overtime and then some to knock off the No. 1 ranked women from Metro State and advance to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II final four. This is their first trip in the program’s five year history.

"We believe that we can beat anyone in this country and the things that we do will work against any team so we had the mindset that we were going to go to the final four and we felt like if we knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation and go into the final four we’d be going with a tremendous amount of confidence," said head coach Chuck Sekyra.

The Falcons (19-0-4) and the Roadrunners (23-0-1) failed to score any goals during 110 minutes of regulation play on Saturday. This led to a shootout that the Falcons held on to win by a tally of 5-4.

Seattle Pacific, like Metro State, is offensively minded, which made for an exciting game. Both teams had equal control of the ball, driving it up and down the field but unable to score.

"We played from the get go, it was a bummer we didn’t score in the run of play. Penalty kicks can be a little bit of a coin flip and I really thought we deserved to win the game but I thought justice prevailed because I did think we got played on," Sekyra said.

Metro and SPU both came close to scoring at various times, sending the ball over the net multiple times. Seattle Pacific finished the second half with 20 shots on goal to Metro’s nine.

By the end of the second 10-minute overtime, Seattle Pacific had come close to scoring.

"Our depth got to them a little bit, they were the best team we’ve played and our depth got to them. … We kept putting players in and the game lifted… they couldn’t match our running, they got tired, they had no answer to what we sent out," Sekyra said.

With no goals to either team, the game resulted in a shootout. Penalty kicks were to be taken by five players from each team. Metro’s Anne Ormrod took the first kick, sending the ball into the left side of the net and Falcon keeper Jen Burns to the right.

The Falcons then took a goal of their own from Metro. Tricia Loomis forced the ball straight back, giving their keeper, Rachel Zollner a taste of what was to come from the Falcons.

Kylee Hanavan of Metro missed her penalty kick and Metro was soon put behind the Falcons when Heidi Jacobson sent the ball over Zollner.

Burns missed the next goal shot by Amy Leichlter. She reached for the ball but wasn’t quite able to stretch far enough, bringing Metro up 2-2 against SPU.

Like Burns, Zollner was not able to cover the ball fast enough when Falcon Megan Lienhard sent the ball perfectly under her on the left side.

Kira Sharp took the next penalty shot for Metro, bringing Burns out of the box too fast and sending it to the net.

Zollner missed Kara Hamby’s ball, zooming past her in the left corner, giving SPU a fast point and putting them ahead of the Roadrunners again.

The center of the net became home for the next shot as Jodi McGann tied the score for Metro.

Tension was high as senior Shannon Lovejoy went to take her penalty kick.

"I played my heart out and there’s nothing more I could do, but take one more shot," Lovejoy said in a press release early this week.

Lovejoy took her last shot, which went into the left corner past Zollner, winning the game for SPU and bringing them one game closer to the championship.

SPU will play Carson-Newman College (17-4-0) in the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II women’s soccer tournament this week. They will be going against the top four teams. Sekyra said that they will "focus on ourselves, we will go there and be ourselves and do what got us there, that is good enough to win it all," which is what the Falcons plan on doing.

"Two [games left], we want to end our season on a win," Sekyra said.

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Title: Women shock No. 1 in shootout | Author: Sarah Schooley | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2005-11-30 | Internal ID: 4746