Nov. 14, 2010

Courtesy of California (Pa.) Athletics

Senior Sam Regney (Monaca, Pa./Monaca) scored the deciding shootout goal and junior Paula Jackson (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmers Trust) made two crucial saves in the shootout, as the No. 10 California University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team advanced in the NCAA Tournament with a 1-1 tie against No. 22 Slippery Rock on Sunday afternoon at Roadman Park.

The Vulcans move to 18-1-3 overall this season and will travel to face No. 4 West Chester in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, Nov. 19. The Golden Rams and Vulcans have already met twice this season with West Chester holding a 1-0-1 advantage. The two teams met last weekend in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship, which West Chester won via shootout. Meanwhile, Slippery Rock finishes the year with a 14-3-5 mark.

I couldnt be more proud of this group of players,” said fourth-year head coach Al Alvine. We knew we were in for a difficult game against a very good team so we are happy to advance to our second-straight regional final."

Cal U led for virtually the entire game as sophomore Kayla Fransko (Monongahela, Pa./Ringgold) scored an unassisted goal in the sixth minute. The Vulcans held the lead for almost 73 minutes before Alyssa Barrett evened the game at 1-1 with her fourth goal of the year at the 78:05-mark. Slippery Rock appeared to have ended the game in the 96th minute when Alison Hindley found the back of the net with a header. However, the officials negated the goal with an offside call.

In the shootout, both teams tallied a goal on their first shot attempts before Jackson made a save on Slippery Rocks second attempt. Cal U then took a 2-1 shootout lead when Darija Davidson (Courtice, Ontario/St. Stephen's) made her attempt. Jackson again forced a miss with a save on The Rocks third shot before senior Carina Honeygosky (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) gave the Vulcans a 3-1 lead in the shootout. Slippery Rock tallied a goal on its next attempt before Regney secured the shootout with the deciding goal, 4-2.

Jackson finished the game with four saves on six attempts to move to 18-1-3 this year. Meanwhile, The Rocks Dana ONeill registered a career-high 12 saves on a whopping 28 shots by the Vulcans.

The game featured only five total corner kicks with Cal U holding a 3-2 advantage. In the tie, the Vulcans were whistled 14 fouls and issued two yellow cards compared to only six fouls against The Rock.

The Vulcans took an early 1-0 lead at the 6:48-mark when Fransko scored an unassisted goal after placing the ball over ONeills head from 25 yards out. Following a foul against Cal U, Slippery Rocks Emer Flatley nearly scored on a free kick before Jackson made the save on the far side of the net. Cal U nearly added to its lead in the 21st minute, but a shot attempt by junior Kristen Orrett (Pickering, Ontario/Pickering) sailed just over the top left of the goal.

After taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, Jackson preserved the lead at the 55:52-mark when she made a leaping save on a shot attempt by Barrett. The Vulcans then moved down the field and its own scoring opportunity before the shot by freshman Tonya Fabian (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) was blocked by a Rock defender. Cal U made another attempt to add to its lead in the 75th minute when freshman Bethany Smyda (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) made a sliding shot which ONeill countered with a diving save to the near corner. Following the save, Slippery Rock moved down the field and tied the game at the 78:05-mark when Barrett scored her fourth goal of the season following a corner kick by Ashley Paganie. The goal snapped a streak of 630 scoreless minutes for Cal U, a streak the spanned over seven games.

The Vulcans looked for a quick score after the goal as they attempted two kicks within a minute with junior Sara Di Benedetto (Maple, Ontario/St. Elizabeth Catholic) taking a rebound shot after Fabians attempt was blocked. Neither team was able to break the tie in regulation, marking the fourth overtime game of the year for Cal U (1-0-3).

In the first overtime, Smyda nearly tallied a goal while sliding towards the goal in the 95th minute before Slippery Rock was whistled for offsides, which erased a possible goal at the 96:19-mark. Cal U pressured the Slippery Rock net in the second overtime with eight shots with three resulting in saves by ONeill.

Per tournament rules with the game tied at the end of regulation and two overtime periods, the contest was decided via shootout.