WOMEN'S SOCCER DEFEATS PORTLAND STATE 2-1, ADVANCES TO BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Leah Larot and Elece McBride connected on second half goals and the Hornets rallied to defeat Portland State, 2-1, on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament at Northern Arizona's Max Spilsbury Field.
Leah Larot scored the game-tying goal versus PSU and Elece McBride won it for the Hornets.
(Photo courtesy of Matt Beaty/NAU Media Realtions)
With the victory, head coach Randy Dedini's squad advances to the Big Sky Conference Tournament Championship Game at 11 a.m. on Sunday versus the hosts and No. 1 seeded Lumberjacks, who knocked off Northern Colorado late Friday afternoon. The last time the Hornets played in the conference title game was in 2007, when they also defeated PSU 2-1 in the semifinals and knocked off Northern Colorado 3-0 in the championship.
Against the Vikings on Friday, Sacramento State got into an early hole after PSU's Eryn Brown scored her sixth goal of the season in the 13th minute when she bombed in a shot from 20-yards out after a failed clear attempt.
Down 1-0 at halftime, the Hornets needed a rally and Larot delivered in the 55th minute.
Off a loose ball, Jordan Carlberg was able to gain possession and make a pass right in front of the net where Larot finished it to the lower right shelf. It was Larot's 10th goal of the season.
The comeback was completed in the 79th minute when McBride finally connected after a flurry of Hornet shots. In a span of seven seconds, Victoria Ramirez took a shot that was saved, Larot blasted a shot off the post, Kelsey O'Donnell took a shot that was saved but collected her own rebound and slotted a pass to McBride who scored the game-winning goal - her sixth of the season.
Larot and McBride were the Hornets' two top scorers after the regular season and delivered as they had all year in the semifinals on Friday.
The Hornets outshot the Vikings 13-10 in the game and took four corners to PSU's one. Portland State had five saves while the Hornets grabbed four.
It was a very clean game, as only 15 total fouls were called. But a host of cards were issued after the 80th minute - two yellows to Sacramento State and two yellow cards and a red card to Portland State.
Just last Friday, the Hornets played at Portland State to close out the regular season and lost 1-0.
Victoria Ramirez shows some hustle against the Vikings.
Felicia Novoa gets into position for a shot attempt.
Caitlin Pulver fights for the ball.
All photos courtesy of Matt Beaty. A big thanks to Andrew Tomsky and NAU Media Realtions staff for distributing the photos so quickly.