Nov. 15, 2009

Courtesy of Ingalls

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Melinda Ingalls golden goal in the 99th minute made Oregon State women's soccer history as the Beavers defeated Florida, 1-0, to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. Rachael Axon assisted on the goal as the Beavers became the second un-seeded team (joining Virginia) to advance to the regional semifinals.

Oregon State (14-7-1) will advance to play Notre Dame in the regional semifinals Friday, Nov. 20 at 4:00 p.m.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Oregon State women's soccer head coach Linus Rhode said following the dramatic victory. "If you would have asked me this when we started in August I would have said that it was a dream, but to actually be here it's unbelievable."

Axon brought the ball up through midfield in the 99th minute and played it to Ingalls on the left side of the field. Ingalls drew the defender and the keeper to that side of the field before she split two defenders and drove the ball into the opposite side of the net for the win.

"We were all pretty tired going into overtime," Ingalls said. "I was just hoping that we were going to score. I didn't really realize until people started jumping on me that we were going to the Sweet 16."

Florida (16-6-2) came into the match as the No. 3 seeded team in the Florida State bracket, but was unable to get anything going in the first half against the un-seeded Beavers.

Oregon State dominated in the first half offensively, having six shot attempts and allowing none to Florida. Gator keeper Katie Fraine held the Beavers scoreless through regulation tallying six saves, four in the first half alone.

The match became more even in the second half with the Gators being more effective in their offensive game plan. They managed five shots in the second half, to the Beavers four, but could not get it past Oregon State keeper Colleen Boyd.

The biggest threat against the Beavers came with four minutes left in the second half, the ball got passed into the Oregon State box and was in the middle of a crowd of players and Boyd found and controlled the ball before any Gator could score.

"For me it's about finding the ball," Boyd said. "Ultimately it's about forgetting about everything that is around me, forgetting about the girls, it's about finding the ball."

That was the really the last scare the Beavers faced before the end of regulation. Florida came out and moved the ball well in the overtime period but could not get a shot off.

Oregon State got of two shots in the overtime period but it was the final one by Ingalls that sealed the deal for the Beavers.

As soon as the ball went in the goal there was pandemonium on the Oregon State bench and in the crowd where Beaver Nation represented itself well. Ingalls was doused with the water bucket by fellow teammates.

Oregon State now heads to South Bend, Ind., where it will take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame Friday, Nov. 20 at 4:00 p.m. The team will travel tomorrow to Ann Arbor, Mich. where it will stay until Thursday, Nov. 19, before heading to South Bend, Ind.