MANKATO, Minn. — It took 110 minutes, a shootout, a bevy of shots allowed and key saves by Marie Torres for Minot State to earn its biggest win in program history.
The Beavers’ Emily Rebelo, Zoe Fisher and Lexy Kidd all scored in the shootout while Torres came up with two huge saves. She was aided by the crossbar twice to secure the win against No. 3 ranked and top-seeded Minnesota State-Mankato in the semifinals of the NSIC Tournament on Friday at the Pitch at Gage Towers.
The game finished officially with a 1-1 double overtime tie, but Minot State moves on to face No. 2 seed Winona State in its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship appearance on Sunday.
“You have to feel pretty good going into a shootout with an athletic goalkeeper like Marie [Torres],” MISU head coach Jason Spain said. “I can’t say enough about how she played. She kept us in [the game] the entire way. Our defense was put into a tough situation with how they attacked and overall we responded.”
Both teams scored on its first try in the shootout as Rebelo buried her attempt. On Minnesota State’s second shot, Torres made a save. Fisher gave Minot State a 2-1 lead and again Torres was up to the challenge, getting a piece of the third attempt and hitting it off the crossbar.
Kidd put Minot State in a commanding 3-1 position with her attempt. After MSU scored and the Beavers missed – hitting another pipe in the process – Minnesota State’s final attempt ricocheted off the crossbar sending the Beavers into celebration.
Minot State (14-3-3 overall) struck first as Tara McPartland buried a corner from Fisher in the 30th minute. Fisher and McPartland have been keys to the Beavers running its unbeaten streak to 10 games (8-0-2). It was McPartland’s fifth goal of the season and her third game in a row with a goal.
“I can’t ask for anything more from my seniors. We have gotten everything out of Marie [Torres] that we expected coming in. Lexy [Kidd] has played lights out down the stretch and Tara [McPartland] has really come on,” Spain said.
The Beavers nearly made the 1-0 lead stand as they fought off furious rallies from the Mavericks (16-1-2) in the second half. Torres made eight of her match-high 13 saves in the second half.
MSU scored the equalizer in the 89th minute as Tori Meinhardt pushed a rebound just over the end line with 1:36 remaining in the contest.
Minot State didn’t muster much offense throughout the match, getting outshot 35-3 overall, including a 27-1 disadvantage in the second half and overtimes.