The Ashland University women's soccer team went to penalty kicks with Saginaw Valley State, but it was the Cardinals who advanced to the GLIAC championship game, edging the Eagles in a shootout, 3-1, on Friday (Nov. 3) night in Allendale, Mich. in the GLIAC Tournament semifinal game.
The game will officially go down as a scoreless draw as neither team was able to unlock a goal in 110 minutes of play. The Eagles (12-5-2) will now await their NCAA Tournament fate, which will be announced Monday (Nov. 6) at 6 p.m. on the NCAA.com Selection Show.
Saginaw Valley (10-6-2) advanced to the GLIAC championship game where it will play host Grand Valley State, which toppled Tiffin, 8-0, in Friday's first semifinal.
On Friday night, both teams had chances to score the game-winning goal in regulation and overtime, but neither was able to put the finishing touch on a final pass. It was the first time since Oct. 6 against Grand Valley State the Eagles failed to score in a game.
Freshman Abby Lampe made four saves in goal for the Eagles, while SVSU keeper Abby Divozzo made three stops.
The Eagles had an 8-2 edge in corner kicks in the game, while the Cardinals maintained a 15-10 lead in shots.
Ashland nearly had the winner in the 89th minute as senior Morgan Bittengle took a centering pass from sophomore Emily Ledbetter and fired an arcing shot from 30 yards that fell over the keeper, but clanged off the crossbar.
The Cardinals out-shot the Eagles, 5-1, in the overtime periods, but none of the shots by either team were on target.
In the penalties, both teams missed on their first attempts and both converted on the second, Bittengle making good on her try. The Eagles saw their shots saved in the next two rounds while the Cardinals deposited both of theirs to advance to the championship.
The Eagles, who were No. 5 in the last NCAA Division II Midwest Regional rankings, are still in contention for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. It would be their first trip to the national tournament since 2004.