BOSTON, Mass. – The sixth-seeded Johnson & Wales University women's soccer team edged number three seed Simmons College, 3-2, in a shootout to advance to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Semifinals this afternoon in snowy, 36-degree weather on Winsor Field in Boston, Mass. The Sharks finish their season with a 9-7-3 record. The Wildcats are now 10-9-2.
The Wildcats move on to face second-seeded Emmanuel College, which advanced to the semifinals following a 2-0 victory over Saint Joseph's College (Maine) this afternoon. The match will be played on Wednesday, November 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Clemente Field in Boston.
Johnson & Wales' first three shooters were all successful in their penalty kick tries with first year forward Taylor Hopkins (Warminster, Pa.) and junior back Kelsey Swanger (Altoona, Pa.) finding the back of the net before first year forward Kyra Selner (Sterling, Va.) put away what proved to be the deciding kick for the Wildcats. First year defender Jessie Pratt (Westfield, Mass.) began the shootout for Simmons with a successful try to give it a 1-0 edge, before JWU junior keeper Alex Place (East Greenwich, R.I.) turned away the next two attempts by the Sharks. Junior back Issy Verrilli (Naugatuck, Conn.) pulled Simmons to within 3-2 in the fourth round of the shootout and junior goalie Briana Hayes (Manorville, N.Y.) stopped Johnson & Wales' next attempt, but Place matched her with a stop in the fifth round to advance the Wildcats to the GNAC semis.
Simmons owned a 10-6 shot advantage at the end of regulation. The Sharks looked poised to end the match early in the first overtime when first year forward Kashka Gammon (Nashua, N.H.) corralled a loose ball in the box and unleashed a shot headed for the back of the net, but caught too much of the cross bar to end the threat just 1:43 into the extra period. The Wildcats put a pair of shots on frame in the first overtime as Hopkins and sophomore Sarakate Matthews (Northborough, Mass.) were both denied to keep the match scoreless and headed into a second overtime.
Simmons took all three shots in the second overtime, including a shot on net from junior forward Greer Gilbert (Falmouth, Mass.) with one tick left on the clock that was stopped to send the match to penalty kicks.
The Sharks ended the match with a 14-8 advantage on shots.
Place finished the contest with seven saves to earn the victory, while Hayes stopped six shots for Simmons.