The Midland women’s soccer team ended it season on a heartbreaking note, falling 5-4 in an overtime that took eight rounds of penalty kicks to decide in the semifinals of the GPAC conference tournament Tuesday.
“Tonight’s game was everything that a conference semifinal is supposed to be,” said coach Greg Jarosik. “Both teams battled really hard. Both teams defended really well. Each of us had chances. That was a fun semifinal.”
The first half consisted of a lot of back and forth play, as both teams got a handful of shots. Playing with the wind at their backs, Midland led in shots during the first 45 minutes with six total, four of which were on goal. Concordia had five shots with two on goal.
The second half proved to be even more of a defensive battle. Both teams limited scoring opportunities for the other with solid play in their defensive zone. Midland once again led in shot and shots on goal with two of their six shots being on frame. The Bulldogs matched them with shots on target on just three total shots.
In the first overtime period, Midland once again played with the wind at their backs and was aggressive throughout the 10 minute session. Despite a relentless attack though they could only put up one shot in the first extra period.
The second overtime period saw the sides flip both on the field and on the stat sheet. Concordia was the only team to register a shot on goal but like the Warriors, they too were kept off the scoreboard. After 110 minutes of play, Midland led with shots at 13 compared to Concordia’s 9.
Rachel Thigpen registered her second straight save with five saves in goal for the Warriors.
Heading into the shootout, a date in the GPAC Championship against Jamestown was on the line.
The Warriors sent Thigpen, Chloe Dietz, Melissa Warner, Arianna Flores, and Brittany Llanes to the spot.
After five rounds, each team had converted on two goals each with Warner and Flores succeeding in getting the ball past the Bulldogs’ keeper.
In extras, Emily Ambrose and Dana Gomez each found the back of the net but so did Concordia’s sixth and seventh players. The eighth round saw Lauren Montgomery’s attempt kick sail high and the Bulldogs’ punched their ticket to the next round with a goal that froze Thigpen in net.
“I’m proud of our effort in the postseason tournament,” Jarosik said. “We had some bumps with COVID in the fall and we had some learning curves with so many new faces. I’m excited about the future and what we can do with the players coming back and the newcomers we have coming in.”
Midland’s season comes to a conclusion with a final record of 7-6-3. They were 5-4-3 in conference play and advanced to the semifinals for the fifth straight season.