The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 18, 2012

MSU women fall in shootout at nationals

The Free Press

ALLENDALE, MICH. — The Minnesota State women’s soccer team came up short in its bid to reach the Final Four of the NCAA Division II national tournament Sunday, losing a shootout to Grand Valley State in the quarterfinals.

The match was tied 2-2 after regulation and two overtime periods before GVS won the shootout 5-4. The host Lakers struck first in the 11th minute when All-American Ashley Botts got behind the Mavericks’ back line and beat MSU netminder Molly McGough in the upper right hand corner.

Grand Valley extended the lead to 2-0 in the 70th minute when Casey McMillan shot a breakaway past a diving McGough. Thirteen minutes later, MSU was awarded a free kick from just outside the box that junior Caitlin Graboski buried into the right side.

Just two minutes after that, sophomore Emily Moris found a streaking Breanna Steele who popped a shot under the cross bar to tie the match at 2.

After two scoreless overtimes, the Lakers and Mavericks found themselves tied 3-3 after each team’s five scheduled shooters. MSU senior Ashley Sykora and GVSU’s Kelly Capoccia traded goals in Round 6, but senior Nicole Dooher narrowly missed in Round 7 and when Taylor Callen converted for the Lakers, the match was over.

Both teams finished with eight shots on goal. Cassie Weik and Dooher each had two shots on net for the Mavericks.

The loss brings to an end the best season in school history as MSU advanced farther in the NCAA Tournament than any other team in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference history. The Mavericks finished 17-1-5 and set numerous team and individual records along the way.