Practice makes perfect for Skidmore
Prepared for penalties, Thoroughbreds’ advance for first time
GRANTHAM, Pa. -- When Skidmore junior Rebecca Russo’s penalty kick hit the back of the net, her teammates rushed onto the field in celebration of the Thoroughbreds’ NCAA tournament first-round victory. The score, Skidmore’s third in four attempts, propelled the Thoroughbreds into the second round for the first in school history via a shootout victory. MIT went 0-3 on its penalty attempts.
The loss eliminated MIT (14-3-4) from the NCAA tournament.
“We’ve been practicing [penalty kicks] all week,” Russa said. “We’re excited to be going to the next round. We’ve been fortunate to get to this point, and it feels great.”
After 110 minutes of soccer on Saturday, neither team held an advantage on the scoreboard. Skidmore (14-6) held a 20-15 edge in shots taken throughout the regulation and overtime periods, with MIT keeper Meghan Wright and Skidmore keeper Meghan Sleezer making nine and eight saves, respectively. Each keeper made a save on their opponent’s first shot in the shootout.
“We’ve been in some tough battles this year, so we’re used to digging it out in the end,” Skidmore head coach Lacey Largeteau said. “It’s great for the seniors and our program.”
With the win, Skimore advances to the second round to face Messiah on Sunday. Messiah defeated Elms College on Saturday 10-0.
“We’ve focused on being healthy going into this weekend,” Largeteau said. “We wanted to have the right mentality for these big games, and we’re excited to have another game tomorrow.”