After a scoreless 110 minutes of play in The American women’s soccer tournament quarterfinal, the USF women’s soccer team advanced past Cincinnati 4-3 in penalties on Wednesday night.
Both teams peppered the goal throughout the match. Cincinnati led 19-14 in shots, with both teams putting six on target. But neither team could find the net during regulation or overtime, and it took the dreaded penalty kicks to decide the game.
Keeper Kay Elliott made six saves during the game, but was pulled for backup Haley Johnson before penalties began. Johnson saved the two of the first three penalties that she faced, while Grace Adams, Trudi Carter and Andrea Hauksdottir converted the first three, giving the Bulls a 3-1 advantage with two penalties left of the original five.
Then the fickle nature of a penalty shootout reared its ugly head. Evelyne Viens had her penalty (shot #4) saved, and Yasmine Hall skied her shot over the bar to send the shootout to extra rounds.
Cincinnati’s Cin Huber missed penalty #6 to the right, only just missing the post. (The American Digital Network originally marked the penalty made, confusing those of us at the bar.
Up stepped Leticia Skeete. Her penalty to the left was blocked by Kaleigh Piscioner, but she pushed the ball onto the post. On the ricochet, the ball dribbled along, and eventually across, the goal line to win it for USF.
After losing several penalty shootouts in a row, including one to Cincinnati in last year’s conference tournament final, USF finally breaks their shootout jinx and now faces UConn, the tournament hosts, this Friday.