Mountain West Women's Soccer Weekly Release

 

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San Diego State Loses In Double-Overtime To Cal In First Round Of 2014 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship

BERKELEY, Calif. (GoAztecs.com) – San Diego State dropped a crushing 3-2 double-overtime decision at No. 20 California in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Nov. 15 at Goldman Field in Berkeley, California. The loss ended the three-time defending Mountain West champions’ season and sent their record to 15-5-2. The Golden Bears, meanwhile, moved on to the second round and improved to 14-5-2.

California ended the game in the 105th minute when Samantha Witteman took the ball out wide on the left side and crossed it into the box. Arielle Ship put a foot on the ball as she was entering the box and her shot unfortunately got past SDSU goalkeeper Melanie Vaughn. The game-winner put an end to what was a gritty performance by the Aztecs, who led, trailed and eventually tied the game.

The Aztecs started the first half very sharp, possessing the ball and nearly connecting on a handful of sequences. Hannah Keane was the first to put the pressure on the Golden Bears, taking a pass from Aliyah Utush and missing just wide. Later in the ninth minute, Meggie Gulczynski sent a corner kick in from the left side and found Jen Rupey, who put good leather on the ball, but California’s Emily Boyd was there to make the save. Then, not 60 seconds later, Kelsey Booth was on the left side of the pitch one-on-one with Boyd, but the senior pushed her attempt wide right by a couple of feet.

SDSU’s constant pressure finally paid off in the 11th minute when Haley Locker dribbled the down the left sideline and crossed a ball from 20 yards out to the other side of the box. Utush took care of the rest, slotting her shot into the lower left corner to notch her sixth goal of the season. Assists were credited to Locker and Katie Perry, who fed the senior forward initially.

Following the Aztec goal, California answered with a goal of its own almost immediately after. The Golden Bears earned a corner kick, which Taylor Comeau took, and centered it to Grace Leer, who knocked in the equalizer in the 13th minute. Three minutes later, the Golden Bears were on the attack and Celeste Boureille volleyed the ball to the left post where Samantha Witteman cashed in on the opportunity to propel California to a 2-1 lead.

The home side continued to put the heat on San Diego State, but the Aztecs were able to keep the Bears from padding their lead. As the half wore on, SDSU began to counter Cal’s pressure, getting a few good chances, none of which found the back of the net as the score remained the same at intermission.

Back-and-forth action highlighted the opening minutes of the second half until the Aztecs received the tying goal in the 58th minute. California was whistled for a foul leading to a San Diego State free kick. Gulczynski lined up her shot and curled it into the goal past Jen Rupey, who tried heading it in, and Bear keeper Boyd. The goal was Gulczynski’s third of the season.

The score remained knotted at 2 apiece for the remainder of the frame, but it was not without some dangerous chances by both teams. San Diego State’s backline erased some Bear attacks and Vaughn came up with some huge saves. For the Aztecs, they made a few runs at California and nearly had the winner in the 74th minute when Zsuria Phare touched the ball to Booth, past the onrushing Boyd, but the senior midfielder did get enough behind it and the shot was stopped by a Golden Bear defender.

In the first overtime session, SDSU had a good look when Mitchell centered a pass to Perry, who sent a low worm-burner toward the middle of the net. The attempt, however, was saved by Boyd. On the next two possessions, Mitchell used her speed to put the Bears on their heels, but each chance came up empty. As OT was coming to an end, the Aztecs came up with a big stop when Gulczynski cleared the ball off the goal line. Then on the next play, a Golden Bear was 10 yards out in the middle of the box surrounded by Aztecs, but her shot sailed way right and the game moved into the second overtime leading to the game-winner by California.

The Aztecs, who were playing their third straight overtime game, attempted 13 shots, seven of which were on net. Perry attempted a team-high four shots, with three coming on net. Booth, meanwhile, also had four shots, with two on target. In net, Vaughn had six saves.

SDSU concludes a season in which it won its third straight Mountain West regular-season and tournament championships, and appeared in a school-record third consecutive NCAA tournament.

MOUNTAIN WEST NETWORK