GVSU sneaks past Chico State
Lakers advance to national title match for third year in a row
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- No. 1 Grand Valley State battled to a 1-1 double overtime tie against Chico State before advancing its third consecutive NCAA Championship game 3-2 on penalty kicks on Thursday afternoon at Brosnaham Park.
This is the second consecutive game in which the Lakers have had a shootout to advance in the tournament. GVSU will play the winner of the Armstrong Atlantic and Saint Rose in the other NCAA semifinal on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Grand Valley State shot first in the shootout taking a 2-1 lead after three shooters. Junior Kayla Addison and freshman Charlie Socia each connected, while junior keeper Chelsea Parise stopped two shots in a row to keep the advantage.
A save on the next GVSU kick and a Chico State make evened it at 2-2. Junior Ashley Botts converted her shot and Parise made a diving save for the 3-2 advantage and the Lakers chance at a third consecutive National Championship.
GVSU jumped out to a quick lead when just 53 seconds into the game, junior Maria Brown found the back of the net to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead. Senior Erin Mruz connected with Botts who found Brown waiting on the right side of the box just in time to head it in. The two teams kept it even throughout the remainder of the half with the Lakers holding a slight 7-5 edge in shots after the opening 45 minutes.
In the second half, the Wildcats put the pressure on the GVSU defense, but junior keeper Chelsea Parise was at the ready. She saved a hard hit shot off the right post to keep the GVSU lead with less than 15 minutes in regulation.
The pressure was finally too much as Chico State evened the score at the 85:26 mark when Lisa Webster headed the ball into the net to the back post. A free kick from the left corner connected with Blake Lopes' head before Webster was able to get her own head on it for a 1-1 tie score.
Grand Valley State was able to pull out six shots in the overtime periods, but was unable to find the net. In the second overtime, Botts had back-to-back chances, but both balls were saved by Wildcat keeper Brianna Furner to send the game to a shootout.