UMass Knocks Off Saint Louis, Advances To A-10 Semis On PKs
Nov. 7, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. - Playing to a scoreless draw after 110 minutes, the UMass women's soccer team buried all five of its penalty kicks to knock off No. 3-seed Saint Louis in Atlantic 10 Championship quarterfinal action on Thursday afternoon at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium. The Minutewomen (7-8-4) advance to Friday's semifinal and will face No. 2-seed La Salle at 5:00 p.m.
UMass held the majority of possession in the first half and put two shots of frame, but the teams went to the intermission in a scoreless deadlock.
The Minutewomen increased the pressure in the second half, out-shooting Saint Louis, 10-4 in the period. Freshman Julia Weithofer's attempt at goal was cleared off the line by a Billiken's defender 77:26 into the contest.
UMass nearly found the back of the net once more in the stanza. In the 81st minute, sophomore Madison Smith came within inches of putting the Minutewomen on the scoreboard, but her long-range shot from the right side rung off the crossbar.
Both goalkeepers came up with saves in the extra periods to help send the match into penalty kicks. The stop was redshirt-freshman Danielle Kriscenski's lone save of the day for UMass as she logged her third straight clean sheet to extend her shutout streak to 310 minutes.
Freshman Alyssa Fratarcangeli led off the PKs for the Minutewomen, but was quickly answered by the Billikens' Mary Wright to level things at 1-1. Sophomore Jen Coppola followed with UMass' second conversion, which would give the squad the lead after an attempt by Shaney Sakamoto rung off the post.
While Saint Louis did manage to make its next two, UMass' perfect showing continued with successful strikes from freshman Megan Burke, senior Brittany Moore and Weithofer to seal the victory for the Minutewomen.
UMass will face La Salle in the Atlantic 10 Championship semifinal round for the second time in the past three years when the squads square off tomorrow night. In 2011, the Minutewomen upset the top-seeded Explorers, 1-0, to advance to the Championship final.