Southeast Falls in Shootout to Mizzou in the First Round of the NCAA Soccer Championship
Nov. 16, 2007
COLUMBIA, Mo. - (Friday, November 16, 2007) For the second straight game, the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks women's soccer team went to a five-kick shootout. Through two overtimes in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, the Redhawks tied the No. 23 Missouri Tigers 1-1 at Walton Stadium in Columbia, Mo., but they ultimately fell 2-0 in the game-ending shootout.
The shootout marked the second consecutive game that a Redhawks (12-2-4) match went to penalty kicks after the OVC Tournament Championship with Samford was decided in the same manner. After Kat Tarr netted the first penalty kick for Missouri (13-7-1), none of the four Redhawks managed to score on their kicks. Mallory Forst, the Mizzou goalkeeper, clinched the win for the Tigers as her penalty kick sailed into the right side of the goal.
"I'm extremely proud of my team," head coach Heather Nelson said after the game. "We've made history this season with only two losses except for tonight. We won (our conference regular season), we won the tournament, and we swept all the awards. We have a great group of athletes and we showed a lot of character today."
Despite the relentless offensive play by Missouri, Pickering, the OVC Defensive Player of the Year, recorded nine saves, just one shy of her season high. In the second half, the Redhawks defensive did not allow a goal despite 10 shots made by the Tigers, and Pickering had four saves, including a pair of diving stops.
The Redhawks gained momentum inside the final 10 minutes of the first period. In the 43rd minutes, freshman Vanessa Hart passed a perfect long throughball to the OVC Offensive Player of the Year Courtney Alexander. Matched up with the goalkeeper one-on-one, Alexander placed Southeast Missouri State's first ever NCAA tournament goal in the right side of the net to tie the game at one.
Her goal was one of just three shots the Redhawks made in the game, and one of only two shots on goal.
"When we had the opportunity, we tried to take advantage of it," Alexander said. "I had two shots, and one went in. We showed our character tonight. We're proving that SEMO and mid-major conferences are closing in on big time schools."
The Redhawks' performance was an outstanding one for the Ohio Valley Conference, which sent two teams to the NCAA Soccer Championship for the first in its history, as they took the nationally ranked Tigers to penalty kicks. The Samford Bulldogs, who earned an at-large berth, went to double over time against Louisiana State, though they fell 1-0.