San Diego advances on penalty kicks
Toreros come out on top in shootout against UC Irvine
IRVINE, Calif. -- San Diego pulled off a thrilling first-round victory against UC Irvine on Friday on penalty kicks, as the game officially ended in a 2-2 tie, but USD won the shootout 5-3 in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Anteater Stadium. USD will now await the winner of the UCLA and New Mexico match on Saturday to learn who they will face in the second round.
After USD's Natalie Garcia easily got the first USD goal to open the shootout, USD senior goalkeeper Courtney Parsons then came up huge for the Toreros, as she stopped the first UCI attempt by Judy Christopher. Meghan O'Rourke, Ellie Magracia, Lexi Deol, and Stephanie Ochs then all converted their shot attempts to seal the USD win.
"I am very excited and proud of the girls, as this was the toughest first-round matchup in the country," head coach Ada Greenwood said. "Both teams showed good character today, and this was a tough physical match between two great teams."
The Toreros (12-7-1) wasted no time in scoring. In the fifth minute, Kelley McCloskey stole the ball from the Anteaters defense, and sent the ball into the box, where Ochs took control. After a few skillful moves, she fed the ball to Mariah Butera, who took one touch and then sent the ball into the lower right corner of the goal to give USD a 1-0 lead.
The Anteaters (14-4-3) then managed to even the score at 1-1 in the 23rd minute of action, as Zoya Farzaneh controlled a pass from Cami Privett to slipped it past the Torero defense.
San Diego then responded in the 22nd minute, as Ochs once again was in the giving mood. Ochs beat a pair of defenders and crossed the ball into a crowded goal box, where Taylor Housley hit a one-timer strike into the back of the net to give USD a 2-1 lead.
UC Irvine then forced overtime as Amanda Hardeman scored a goal with 1:29 left on the clock. There was a scramble inside the goal box, and Hardeman was able to slip one past the Torero defense to even the score at 2-2.
UC Irvine outshot the Toreros 18-9, and they held a territorial 15-8 edge in corner kicks.
Parsons picked up the win in goal for the Toreros, as she allowed two goals and recorded eight saves. UCI's Jennifer Randazzo was saddled with the loss in goal for the Anteaters as she allowed two goals and recorded two saves.