Nov. 22, 2009

Courtesy of UCSD

LA JOLLA, Calif. – The Cal State Dominguez Hills women’s soccer team topped West Texas A&M in quarterfinal action Sunday, 5-2, to advance to the NCAA Division II Final Four to be held at the University of Tampa. The Toros will take on West Florida on Dec. 3, with the winner of that match moving on to the title game two days later. The second semifinal game pits Grand Valley State against St. Rose.

"You're always happy to get to Tampa,” Toros’ associate head coach Jeff Tuttle said. “Anytime you can get to a Final Four, that's a great thing. I'm a firm believer that skill can take you to far places, but you're going to need a little luck on your side."

Sunday’s match at Triton Soccer Field, between the West and South Central regional champions, featured plenty of scoring and hard-nosed play on both sides. The CSUDH attack proved to be too much for the Lady Buffs though, as Jessica Murphy tallied two scores and Makenzie Pedrotti added a goal and two assists to lead the Toros to the quarterfinal victory.

Pedrotti put CSUDH on the scoreboard early, sliding in on the right side of the box to place a shot past the keeper at the 1:37 mark. Pedrotti had collected the rebound after a header from Melissa Livergood was tapped by WTAMU netminder Kelly Skehan up into the crossbar.

The Lady Buffs rallied back roughly four minutes later when Morgan Kviz dribbled up the left side into the box and shot over Toros’ goalkeeper Alyssa Congdon, evening the match 1-1.

The third and final score of the first half came at 28:32 when Murphy saw a deflection send the ball spinning toward the center of the box untouched. She sprinted in and lined a blast into the top of the net from about six yards.

The Toros extended their lead in the 52nd minute on a corner kick from the right side. Brooke Thompson took the attempt from the right side and bent it directly into the far bottom corner of the net to give CSUDH a 3-1 advantage. WTAMU once again showed its resiliency, needing just 16 seconds to bounce back with a score as a cross from the left side by Melanie Shannon assisted Lindsay McHorse’s header goal from up close on the right side.

Despite the lead being trimmed to 3-2, the Toros’ offense kept rolling. Britney Vance struck in the 69th minute, tapping in a shot from the center of the goalmouth after a scrum in the box left the ball at her feet from close range. Five minutes later, Murphy charged up the right side of the field and fired a long shot from 20 yards out that ended up in the upper right corner of the net, pushing the tally to 5-2. Pedrotti assisted both of CSUDH’s final two scores.
"I think we came in a little anxious, be we were definitely able to calm ourselves down,” Murphy said. “We started connecting passes, and that's when we started scoring and played great."

The Lady Buffs’ season comes to an end at a record of 15-3-4. The WTAMU squad advanced past St. Edward’s Friday on penalty kicks to secure the South Central region title and a spot in Sunday’s match.