Lady Tigers Eliminated in Double Overtime 1-0 by Illini
Nov. 14, 2008
MEMPHIS, TENN. - The University of Memphis women's soccer team (15-5-2) suffered a 1-0 season ending loss in double overtime as it was eliminated from the first round of the 2008 NCAA Championship at the hands of the Illinois Fighting Illini (12-8-0).
"You know, it is a cruel game sometimes to end this way, in double overtime," said head coach Brooks Monaghan. "I am extremely proud of our girls and the season that we have had."
The scoreless first half play may have been impacted by the damp cold conditions in Columbia, Mo. for the opening round play. The Illinois defense held Memphis to just two shots in the first half of play including one on frame by sophomore Vendula Strnadova.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Elise Kuhar-Pitters played relentlessly in the first half coming up with three big saves in the first half to keep the match scoreless at 0-0 heading in to halftime.
"In regards to us, I thought it was a tale of two halves. I thought we came out a little bit scared to lose in the first half and then responded really well at half time and gave ourselves a chance to win."
At the 52 minute mark, Strnadova almost connected with an open shot from the right side of the box, but the ball sailed just wide to the left over the top of the outstretched goalkeeper.
Despite Memphis recording six shots in the second half, at the end of regulation, the game stood tied at 0-0. The unyielding defensive battle continued into the first overtime period.
At the 97 minute mark in the first overtime, Lizzy Simonin took her second corner kick of the match. She curved the ball dangerously at the goal, but goalkeeper Alexandra Kapicka was able to get a hand on the ball knocking it back over the top of the crossbar.
The match remained at 0-0 as play moved into double overtime. With 7:42 left in the second overtime period, sophomore Jordan Hilbrands received a pass at the top of the box from junior Chichi Nweke and booted the ball past the diving Kuhar-Pitters netting the golden goal eliminating the Memphis Lady Tigers from the 2008 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.
"Give credit to Illinois," said head coach Brooks Monaghan. "They're a good team and I wish them the best."
The Memphis women's soccer team ends its 2008 season as C-USA regular season champions, C-USA Tournament champions, and NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament qualifiers.