SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women’s soccer team advanced to the Big Sky Tournament championship match after moving past Montana, 5-4, in a penalty kick shootout on Friday afternoon in Pocatello, Idaho.
It is the first time in program history the Hornets (10-7-3) have advanced past the Big Sky tournament semifinals in four previous attempts (1997, 2000, 2001 and 2005). It was also the first penalty kick shootout in the history of the Big Sky Tournament.
Sacramento State will now play regular season conference champion Idaho State in the tournament championship game, scheduled for 11 a.m. (PDT) on Sunday. The game can be followed for free on www.bigskytv.org. The No. 1 seeded Bengals defeated the No. 4 seed and two-time defending conference champion Weber State, 1-0, in the second semifinal on Friday. The winner of the tournament championship match earns the Big Sky’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
After 110 minutes, Sacramento State and Montana were knotted at 1-1, forcing the penalty kick shootout. Montana’s Kelly Fullerton took the first attempt with a shot to the right corner, but Hornet freshman goalkeeper Mandy Trojan left her feet to make a diving stop.
The save proved vital, as Montana would score on their final four blasts, setting up senior Kelly Novak’s shot to the upper left corner in the final round and advancing Sacramento State to the finals. Novak’s successful shot was the last of five straight, as Beverly Goebel, Katie Rorabaugh, Kara Taylor, and Katie McCoy all hit in the shootout.
The second-seeded Montana Grizzlies (10-8-2) got penalty kick goals from Mahlleace Tomsin, MacKenzie Murphy, Sara Aspinwall and Lindsay Winans.
Sacramento State forced overtime by tying the game in the second half at the 57:19 mark when Sarah Howard took a pass from Goebel just outside the penalty box, and chipped past Montana goalkeeper Grace Harris, with the ball hitting the crossbar and dropping just beyond the goal line for Howard’s third of the year.
The only goal of the first half came for Montana on a cross from Winans, the 2006 Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year. Winans went into the left corner, beat a defender, and headed toward the near post. She then slid a pass across the goal box, and Murphy slid it just inside the right post for her fourth goal of the season.