Adelphi 2, Franklin Pierce 2 (Adelphi Wins Shootout, 6-5)



GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Junior Tara Grodotzke (Rocky Point, N.Y.) hit the sixth penalty kick to lift the No. 8 Adelphi University womens soccer team to victory over No. 4 ranked Franklin Pierce in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals this afternoon at Stiles Field. This is the first ever win for the Panthers (19-3-1) over the Ravens (20-1-1) as Adelphi now advances to its first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1992.

Trailing 2-1 in the second half, senior Dina Cali (Valley Stream, N.Y.) scored her second goal of the afternoon in the 87th minute. Sophomore Catherine Wyndham set up the play as the ball slipped through the hands of the Ravens goalie Jenna Mello (Londonderry, N.H.). A waiting Cali chipped the ball into the back of the net to knot the score at 2-2.

My kids continue to surprise me, Head Coach Rich Ilsley said. They really battled. After losing what we lost last year [in six starters] I never thought wed get back [to the NCAAs] so quickly. Franklin Pierce is as good as I expected. They are a quality team.

Cali, who had just two goals on the season leading up to todays contest, gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute. Senior Josephine Coiro (West Babylon, N.Y.) set up the play on a corner kick which Cali headed into the net. Just five minutes later, the Ravens tied the score as Martta Maila (Vantaa, Finland) found the back of the net on a cross from Laura Hislop (Belfast, Northern Ireland). Less than a minute later, Franklin Pierce took the lead as Hislop scored on a feed from Taryn Welker (Wayne, Pa.) at 19:48.

With the score tied at 2-2, penalty kicks would determine the winner. Each team traded shots, with the Panthers and the Ravens each finding the back of the net in the first five attempts. On the sixth shot, Adelphi goalie Christine Conway make a spectacular diving save to give the Panthers the opportunity to win. She totaled three saves on the afternoon, while Mello had seven saves in the contest for the Ravens.

Adelphi moves on to the NCAA semifinals which take place in Wichita Falls, Texas on Thursday, December 2. The Panthers will face the winner of the Carson-Newman/Lincoln Memorial game which is scheduled for tomorrow, November 21, at 1:30 p.m.

This is the ninth overall NCAA appearance for Adelphi and its first Final Four appearance in 12 years. In 1992, Adelphi advanced to the Championship game after defeating Sonoma State, 3-1, only to fall to Barry University, 3-2.

-- Courtesy Adelphi