Oklahoma State Edges USC In PKs In NCAA First Round
Nov. 14, 2009
Courtesy of usctrojans.com
SANTA CLARA, CALIF. - The USC women's soccer team went into its third consecutive overtime game and took a trip into penalty kicks for the second straight season in NCAA play, but this time came up on the short end of the deciding penalty kick situation. After scoreless frames through regulation and overtime, USC and Oklahoma State's NCAA First Round clash was to be clinched in the penalty box, and the Cowgirls managed to edge out the Women of Troy by a 5-4 tally. That pushes Oklahoma State into the NCAA Second Round, and ends USC's 2009 season with a 12-6-3 overall record.
Playing in its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament, the Trojans were up against a team it had faced earlier in the 2009 season in Oklahoma State. The tough first-round matchup with the Cowgirls promised a battle to the end, as Oklahoma State was looking to avenge a 1-0 USC win from back in September. This time around, USC was successful in holding the Cowgirls quiet once again, forcing nothing but wide shots and a handful of smooth saves for senior goalkeeper Kristin Olsen. USC, meanwhile, recovered from a shakier first half to largely dominate play in the second half and into overtime. USC's possession game kept the Trojans a step ahead of the Cowgirls, although clean shots on goal were tougher to manufacture.
Meanwhile, the referee's whistle seemed to sound in Oklahoma State's favor throughout the match, as USC was called for 17 fouls compared to just three Cowgirl fouls in the entire match. In spite of the slanted foul count, USC continued to press on, bringing up two overtime periods - in which Oklahoma State again failed to be called for any fouls. Brittany Kerridge took a booming strike on goal late in the first overtime, forcing Oklahoma State goalkeeper Adrianna Franch to make a save over the bar to bring up a USC corner kick. Samantha Johnson got close with her head, but Ashley Freyer got her foot on it for a shot that went high and wide. Kerridge mixed things up some more in the second overtime with shots, but that period, too, would wind up scoreless to bring up the deciding penalty kicks.
USC went with redshirt senior goalkeeper Brittany Massro in goal for the penalty kicks, and Massro came up big with a save against her first Oklahoma State shooter. Megan Ohai and Chelsea Buehning would put away their shots next for a USC advantage, but Franch managed a stop on Carly Butcher's shot to even things. Karter Haug and Marihelen Tomer followed with successful scores for the Trojans before Oklahoma State's sixth shooter put hers through to bring up a look from Alyssa Davila on goal. Franch was able to stretch out for the save on the shot, however, leaving USC behind 5-4 on penalty kicks to close out the game with Oklahoma State advancing to the NCAA Second Round.
The last time USC was in a shootout to decide NCAA advancement was last season when the Trojans passed up BYU in the NCAA Second Round. Until today's decision, USC had reached the NCAA Second Round for five straight seasons, including the Trojans' 2007 NCAA Championship run in which USC won its first-ever national championship.