Last-Second Goals Ends CSU Run in NCAA Tournament
Jefferson City, Tenn. -- Columbus State's 2009 season ended in
the blink of any eye on Friday. Carson-Newman's Melissa Norris got
off a shot with the last second ticking off the clock and found the
net to break a 2-2 tie and send the host Eagles into an NCAA
quarterfinal matchup with West Florida on Sunday.
Carson-Newman had gotten off a shot with less than 30 seconds left that bounced off a CSU defender and gave them a corner kick opportunity. Andrea Saevik raced to the corner, set the ball down and with time ticking away got the kick off into the box where Norris was able to boot it out of the air and past Kelly Nimmo into the lower left side of the net.
"Honestly, the better team won tonight," said CSU head coach Jay Entlich. "We were fortunate to keep the game tied as long as we did, because they did a better job of creating scoring opportunities than we did. They hit the post twice and had some great opportunities that we were able to clear out. I can tell you, though, in all my years of coaching I have never lost a game like that."
The Eagles appeared on their way to an easy win after two first-half goals. Nikki Brannen took a brilliantly-placed crossing feed from Trenna Howell and beat Kelly Nimmo for the game's first scored at the 8:08 mark. C-N would add another scored in the 38th minute as Saevik took a ball that Nimmo had deflected on a corner kick and one-timed it into the net for a 2-0 lead at the 37:37 mark.
The lead would remain that way until CSU finally got on the board with a goal very similar to the Eagles' game-winner. CSU mounted an attack with the seconds ticking away in the first half and C-N keeper Lauren McKenzie deflected a shot and Jill Walthall was able to get a foot on the ball as she was battling a defender and slid a shot from just outside the left post into the far right side of the net with just 2.7 seconds showing on the clock. That scored cut the lead in half and gave CSU some much-needed momentum.
"That was a big goal for us. Certainly, to go into halftime down 2-1 instead of down by two goals gave us some confidence that we could score and some hope that we could have a chance to get another one or two and get a win," said Entlich
The Cougars tied the game in the 57th minute. The Cougars got a corner kick and Kayla Brown's serve found Kelsey Bass and she beat MacKenzie into the left side of the net for the equalizing goal at the 56:15 mark.
The Eagles dominated the game offensively, getting off 20 shots to just eight for CSU. During one 25-minute stretch after CSU tied the game, C-N got off eight shots from near point-blank range, of which two were saved, one was blocked, one hit the post, and the others just missed either wide or high.
C-N also led in corner kicks by an 8-6 margin and both keepers made five saves. The Cougars committed eight fouls so seven for the Eagles. CSU's Kate Walton received the game's only caution, a yellow card in the 66th minute.
The Cougars end another outstanding season at 16-3-3 after making their third straight regional final appearance. The loss at Carson-Newman is the second in the post-season for the CSU after the team fell in its first-ever post-season appearance on the same field in 2006, again via a late second-half goal.