Jaguar Soccer Advances to SBC Final After Penalty Kick Shootout

November 8, 2015 · By · Filed Under Soccer, Sun Belt Conference 
Sarah Hay, a junior, made two stops in penalty shootout, the second to advance the Jags to the Conference Final against Georgia State on Sunday at noon. Photo: usajaguars.com

Sarah Hay, a junior, made two stops in penalty shootout, the second to advance the Jags to the Conference Final against Georgia State on Sunday at noon. Photo: usajaguars.com

The South Alabama soccer team watched two leads slip away during regulation play but sophomore Sarah Hay made the key stop in the 11th round of penalty kicks to put the Jaguars in the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Soccer Tournament Final over Appalachian State on Friday night.

USA, the top-seed in the tournament, for the third consecutive season to face #6 seed Georgia State who defeated Troy also on penalty kicks.

While the match goes down as a 2-2 draw and ended the Jaguars 11 match win streak, but the 13 match unbeaten streak stays alive.

There were only two misses in the shootout before Hay’s final save. Early in the shootout, App. State’s Kate Ward was stopped by Hay in the second round and sophomore Chelsea Fallowwell’s attempt was stopped by Megan Roberson in the fourth to even it up.

Jaguar freshman Jemma Purfield put the Jags up 10-9 to set up Hay for game-winning stop.

Charde Hannah put the Jags on the board first in the 25th minute after sophomore Ashlynn Jones took control of an App. State goal kick and quickly fed Hannah.

The Mountaineers would respond just over 7.5 minutes later on a free kick from Ward in the upper left corner. Both teams would go to halftime knotted at 1 goal each.

It looked as though sophomore Danielle Henley had won the game for the Jags at the 60:32 mark when a header by senior Nini Rabsatt-Smith was saved off the line but the rebound went to Henley who knocked it home.

Appalachian State managed only two shots in the next 27 minutes before a cross from the byline by Jane Cline was parried by Hay, who was unable to corral it. Then Sam Childress beat Hay to the ball and punch it in at 88:02 mark.

“I’m really pleased that we managed to find a way through to the next round, which is a characteristic the girls have shown all season long – they’ve managed to find a way, but our performance wasn’t up to scratch today,” Jaguar head coach Graham Winkworth said. “We need to make sure we do a better job on Sunday in the final.

“Despite not playing our best soccer though, we still managed to hit the bar, had a couple saved off the line and had a goal disallowed, so we created chances but they didn’t fall for us. At the same time, we managed to do that and not play our best soccer, so I’m encouraged knowing that there’s more to come from us.”

“We’ve got to do a better job of managing the game,” Winkworth noted. “With two minutes to go, we’re making poor decisions at the back, whether we’re playing short when it should’ve gone long, or not putting it out of play and trying to do too much out of the back. When there’s two minutes to go, you have to make quality decisions to manage the game well.

“We’ll talk about it, but to be honest, these girls have done so much for us all season, they’re all entitled to a mistake now and again. We’ll brush that off and think about all of the positives that they’ve done today.”

USA won the shots balle 23-8, including 22-6 in regulation, but only got eight on frame compared to four for the Mountaineers.

“It was opposite of the other day (in the quarterfinals), because we weren’t clinical in front of goal,” Winkworth said. “We should have put them away early in the game. The fact that it was tied at halftime, that wasn’t a fair reflection of the first half. We didn’t take our chances and we didn’t put them away; we came in at halftime disappointed to be level. But like I told the girls, we were the team on the ascendency trying to win the match, and that positive attitude will be rewarded.”

The Jags will face Georgia State at noon on Sunday for the Conference Championship. The game can be seen on ESPN3.com.

Comments

Leave a Reply




%d bloggers like this: