PLYMOUTH, N.H. - In a game decided by penalty kicks after three overtimes, Colby College eliminated the Plymouth State College women's soccer team from the NCAA Division III Regionals Saturday at Panther Field.
The game was tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation and after the two 15-minute overtimes. Each team scored three times in the first round of penalty kicks, and Colby finally won it in the second round of penalty kicks, 4-3.
Colby advances to the NCAA New England Regional Championship game against Middlebury Sunday at 12:00 p.m. at PSC's Panther Field. Middlebury blanked Bowdoin, 1-0, in Saturday's other semi-final.
"This was a great opportunity for us to be here," said PSC coach Marti Kingsley, "and though it ended unfavorably, it provides us with invaluable experience that we'll bring with us to the field next year when we get back to the NCAA Tournament. It's hard for the seniors, but we're going to make it up to them next year. They'll know they were a big part of our success."
"Our team was confident that we could (beat Plymouth State), having played Bates in the tournament Wednesday" said Colby fourth-year coach Jennifer Holsten. "Playing that game was definitely a benefit to us. Coming into this weekend, we were the only one of the four teams that had an NCAA game under our belt this week."
PSC sophomore Caitlin Cook (Cutchogue, NY) scored her 10th goal of the season to give the Panthers the advantage just 13 minutes into the first half. Cook then set up teammate Carrie Poulin (Westfield, MA) for her record breaking 21st goal that put the Panthers up by two. Poulin, the Panthers' freshman scoring machine and Little East Conference scoring leader, has broken the school record for goals in a season, surpassing the mark of 20 set by Mary-Bridget Pawlik in 1992.
"Plymouth State came out strong in the first half and surprised us a little," said Holsten, whose team now has a six-game winning streak. "When we were down 2-0, we were hoping the experience of the last six games, and the experience of beating Bates Wednesday, would help us come together. The upperclassmen really picked it up, and didn't panic, and allowed us to play our brand of soccer."
Colby freshman Carolyn Szum (Amherst, NH) put the White Mules on the scoreboard with an unassisted goal to end the first half. Colby's Jennifer Goodman (W.Suffield, CT) tied the game at the 68:06 mark, scoring her first goal of the season off a pass from teammate Kristina Stahl (Farmington, CT).
"It was an incredibly physical game," said Kingsley. "It was played incredibly fast, switching fields constantly. We felt a little nervous, and we didn't play our game because we felt so much pressure from Colby."
Each team scored three times in the first round of penalty kicks, sending the game into a second round of penalty kicks, this time in sudden death. Colby won in on the first try, when Kathryn Rowen (Virginia, Beach, VA) found the back of the net, sending the White Mules into Sunday's game with a 9-5-1 record, and ending PSC's season at 15-2-1.
SUMMARY OF PENALTY KICKS
1. PSC - Jackie Blanchard - Missed; Colby - Jenna DeSimone - GOAL
2. PSC - Jessica Branch - GOAL; Colby - Carolyn Szum - GOAL
3. PSC - Erin Pepe - GOAL; Colby - Missed
4. PSC - Melanie Jones - Missed; Colby - Missed
5. PSC - Tara Dickson - GOAL; Colby - Jennifer Goodman - GOAL
Round Two 6. PCS - Danielle Paradis - Missed; Colby - Kathryn Rowen - GOAL
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