Jacksonville edges ETSU women's soccer in penalty kicks at the A-Sun Tournament
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 5, 2008) - The ETSU women's soccer team was edged out by Jacksonville in penalty kicks in a game the Bucs totally dominated Wednesday afternoon at the Atlantic Sun Tournament at the Kennesaw State Soccer Complex in Kennesaw, Ga., 1-1 (5-4 Penalty Kicks).


"This game was a great example of how close every team in the conference is. Every game was close, and every chance a team had to finish a game was important," said head coach Heather Henson. "Every person on our team gave all that they had in the game. We knew coming into the game that it was going to be close, and with both teams not wanting to give up it went down to penalty kicks and we were unfortunate."


The Bucs (7-9-2, 5-3-2 A-Sun) had a scoring chance early in the match as Jordan Monty (Dallas, Texas) headed a free kick towards the Dolphin goal, but Alexa Rooney was in position for the save. Jacksonville had some chances of their own early in the half, firing shots off of the post and crossbar.


Sophomore Jennifer Altimier (Cincinnati, Ohio) continued the ETSU attack firing a shot from 20 yards out that just sailed over the crossbar. Play remained even in the half as the game remained scoreless going into the break.  Jacksonville had the advantage in shots, 6-5, but the Bucs led in shots-on-goal 2-0, and corners were even at 3-all.


Jacksonville scored the first goal of the match in the 61st minute as Jelena Vrcelj's shot from outside the 18-yard box found the back of the net to put the Dolphins up 1-0. The Bucs again put on the pressure keeping possession for much of the second half.


ETSU scored the equalizer in the 82nd minute as Kelly Brinkman (Clearwater, Fla.) found Terri Miller (Cape Coral, Fla.) on a breakaway, and Miller blasted a shot past the outstretched hands of Rooney to make the score 1-1.


The Bucs continued to put pressure on the Dolphins in the final minutes of the second half, but neither team was able to get the go-ahead goal as the game went into overtime tied, 1-all. ETSU had the advantage in shots (10-2), shots on goal (5-2) and corners (3-0) in the half.


In the first overtime period, senior Erin Bilyeu (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) made a couple great plays keeping Jacksonville from finishing runs.


Monty kept Rooney busy in the second overtime period with a couple shots on goal, but ETSU was unable to get a golden-goal and so the game went to a penalty kick shootout.


Brinkman, Kim Jones (Springfield, Va.), Kia Kindell (Westchester, Ohio), and Miller converted their penalty kicks to even the shootout at 4-4. After the Dolphins converted their fifth attempt to go up 5-4 in the shootout, Rooney guessed right on the Altimier shot to make the final, 5-4.


"I am extremely proud of our girls," Henson said. "With all of the injuries we have had to go through and the tough times we faced, they never gave up."


The Bucs outshot Jacksonville 17-11 in the contest, and had more corners, 9-5. Bilyeu led ETSU in goal with three saves, but the entire back line for the Bucs, led by Altimier, did a great job in shutting down the Dolphin attack. Monty led the team offensively with seven shots on the night, with three on goal.


"Brian Copham has done a great job for Jacksonville and has got them playing well," Henson said. "Most of the season we haven't had the advantage in shots and corners, but tonight we did a good job of putting things together and connecting passes together. Our players put us in good situations where we had opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, and we just didn't have the ball bounce the way we would have liked it to."


"Bilyeu did an unbelievable job for us, after not playing most of the year," Henson added. "We knew that she had experience in the conference tournament before and she came through for us. Our backs did a great job of making the transition from Megan Masch to Bilyeu. They did a great job of shutting down a great player in Kerri Zwikker and the Jacksonville attack."


Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more information on ETSU women's soccer or any other Buccaneer athletic team.