Women's Soccer Semifinals Recap
Nov. 2, 2012
UCF and Tulsa will square off in the title match for the 2012 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship crown Sunday at UTEP's University Field. The championship match is set for Sunday, Nov. 4, at 12 p.m. (MST) and will be aired on the CBS Sports Network. Conference USA's official website, www.ConferenceUSA.com, will provide updates, box scores, recaps and photos and there will also be updates on Conference USA's official Facebook page and Twitter account @ConferenceUSA1.
Semifinal #2: (3) UCF 2, (7) SMU 0
No. 20 UCF clinched a berth to the Conference USA Championship game with its 2-0 win over seventh-seeded SMU Friday night at UTEP's University Field. With the victory, the Knights (16-4-1) claimed the school record for shutouts (14) and advanced to the title game for the fourth time since joining C-USA in 2005. The Knights will face No. 5 seed Tulsa, who topped regular season champion Colorado College in penalty kicks, on Sunday at 1 p.m. CST in a match televised on CBS Sports Network.
Despite a scoreless first half, UCF controlled much of the possession with 10 shots to SMU's one. Senior F Nicolette Radovcic nearly put the Knights on the board in the first five minutes when she received a header from classmate Tishia Jewell by the right post, but SMU's keeper pushed the shot over the crossbar.
The second half was much of the same as UCF relentlessly attacked the net looking for a score. In the first 10 minutes, C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Marissa Diggs sent a cross from the right and MF Madison Barney had an open look at the net but her attempt went high right.
MF Andrea Rodrigues shot a laser from the left side but SMU's keeper caught the ball just under her chin to keep the game scoreless with 27 minutes to play.
The Knights finally broke through in the 64th minute when Ashley Nicol threw in a ball to Jewell in the right corner of the field. Jewell crossed a ball into junior Kristina Trujic, who took one touch and fired to the top left post for her sixth goal and first game-winner of the year.
With the assist, Jewell tallied the 36th of her career and broke the school record previously held by Cally Howell (1997-00).
Trujic sealed the game with 49 seconds remaining when she notched her first multi-goal game of the season off a one-on-one look at the net thanks to an assist from Radovcic.
The Knights enter Sunday riding a six-match shutout-win streak as they look to claim their first Conference USA Tournament title. UCF beat Tulsa on Oct. 5 at home in a 2-0 decision.
Semifinal #1: (5) Tulsa 1, (1) Colorado College 1 (2OT) (Tulsa advances on PK, 5-4)
Tulsa advances to the 2012 Conference USA women's soccer title game after a dramatic penalty shootout (5-4) decided a very tight game (1-1) with top-seeded Colorado College at UTEP's University Field. TU will face the winner of the UCF-SMU semifinal in Sunday's title match at 1 p.m. CST on CBS Sports Network.
The match was tied 1-1 through regulation and two overtimes, with the Tigers (14-3-5) getting a goal from senior D Kelly Browne (52:52) before the Golden Hurricane (12-5-4) received en equalizer from Camille Pelley at the 70:54 mark.
TU converted on all five of its PK tries (Claire Hulcer, Lexis Learmonth, Bradi Hinch, Claire Nicholson and Lindsay Kirch). Golden Hurricane netminder Haley Harryman stooped Madison Whitehead on Colorado College's first try, which ultimately proved to be the difference. Kaeli Vandersluis, Katie Uyenishi, Jessie Ayers and Rachel Herron all converted for the Tigers, who will now wait for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.
Tulsa held a 19-16 advantage in shots, including 8-5 in shots on goal. Colorado College's Hanna Berglund registered seven stops while Harryman came up with four stops.
After a scoreless first half, Colorado College sophomore F Rachel Herron played a good ball to the six-yard area which was mishandled by the GK in a congested box. Browne was well positioned to power the ball home for the first score.
Perhaps still reeling from conceding the tally, the Golden Hurricane allowed Lyman a free run down the right wing in the 57th minute. She worked herself into a good shooting position only to have her try blocked by the TU defense. The rebound fell kindly for the top seed, with Hannah Peterson having a clean look. Harryman did very well to catch and hold on.
Tulsa put on some pressure on in the 64th minute and the effort paid dividends in the 70th minute. Off a give and go, Nicholson drilled a shot toward the near post that was saved by Berglund. The rebound bounced out into the middle of the area where Pelley was more than to content to drill the ball into the back of the net.
The Tigers regrouped and went back on the offensive with intent to regain their advantage. They generated three shots in a two-minute span, including one by Kaeli Vandersluis that required Harryman to dive down to her right to collect it.
Neither squad could muster anything of consequence in the first extra period. There was a interesting sequence at the onset of the second OT session. A low, hard cross from wing for Tulsa gave the Tigers a scare. Berglund bobbled it initially before she gathered it under pressure. The remainder of the second overtime period was spent with both teams only risking a few numbers forward while being unwilling to risk giving up a would-be golden goal. With the contest still tied after the second overtime, the game had to be decided by penalties.