West Florida takes down defending national champs, heads to title match
EVANS, Ga. – With the game tied 1-all with 9:27 remaining in double overtime, West Florida coach Joe Bartlinski looked to his leading point scorer, Chelsea Palmer, to seal the deal on a penalty kick.
Palmer shot a rocket into the corner of the net, as the Argonauts (23-1-0) advanced to the NCAA finals for the second time in school history, defeating defending champion Saint Rose 2-1.
In the second overtime, Daniela Cruz received a pass near the side of the Saint Rose box, where she was fouled trying to cross the ball to setup the game-winning opportunity.
Junior Monica Malavassi scored the first goal on a pass from Palmer at the 77:44 mark.
But the Argos were unable to keep Saint Rose (20-3-2) off the board. La’Quilla Upton passed a loose ball to Michaela Phillips with three minutes left in regulation, and Phillips shot past Argo keeper Sarah Story to tie at one with 86:40 on the clock.
After the first overtime period ended scoreless, the Argos headed into the second OT trying to avoid penalty kicks with a golden-goal victory.
In the first half, UWF controlled the ball for the majority of the half, but came away with nothing to show for it. The Argos outshot the Golden Knights 11-1 in the first half, with each team putting just one shot on frame.
UWF had a scare in the first half when Carmelina Puopolo crossed the ball to Brittany Barry, who shot it over Story’s head for what appeared to be a goal. But, Barry was called offside.
UWF ended the game outshooting Saint Rose 25-11. The Argos put 12 on frame compared to the Golden Knights’ five.
UWF will play No. 5 UC San Diego (17-2-4) in the NCAA finals Saturday.