Witt nets 91st-minute goal to lift Wheaton (Ill.) past Hardin-Simmons
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Wheaton (Ill.) mustered a late rally to down previously unbeaten Hardin-Simmons 2-1 on Friday. Trailing 1-0, freshman Kristin Rauh headed in her second goal of the season with 19 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime. Less than a minute into overtime, fellow freshman Ally Witt scored her 20th goal of the year to propel Wheaton into the NCAA tournament quarterfinals.
Wheaton (20-3-2) outshot Hardin-Simmons 22-14 and 8-4 in shots on goal.
In the first half, Wheaton held a 12-9 advantage in shots. However, neither team could finish as both keepers registered three saves.
The Cowgirls started to swing play their way as the second half evolved by scoring the first goal in the 65th minute. Hardin-Simmons earned a free kick just outside the box that was deflected away and brought right back by the Cowgirls. Devon Howard found an open Katie Kuykendall outside the box on the right side and Kuykendall sent a powerful shot across the mouth of the goal just inside the far post to give Hardin-Simmons a 1-0 lead.
With their season on the line, the Thunder tried unsucessfully to mount an attack.
In the final minute, Wheaton was awarded a corner kick that was cleared away to the far side. Off the clearance, Shelby Anthony played to Amanda Brait along the far sideline and Brait sent a high crossing pass to the near post. Freshman Kristin Rauh headed the ball low and inside the near post to tie the game at one with 19.3 seconds remaining.
Carrying the momentum of the late goal, Wheaton built instant pressure on the restart of play and threatened early into overtime. Laura Karsten controlled a loose ball in the box and passed to Ally Witt who sent it past the keeper to give Wheaton a 2-1 victory just 34 seconds into the overtime period.
Hardin-Simmons' season ends with a record of 18-1-2.