The games played out in West Virginia’s quadrant as expected Friday, with the higher seeded teams besting the lower ones. West Virginia, UCLA, Northwestern and Duke advanced to set up some intriguing Sweet 16 matchups. Here’s what you need to about yesterday’s games in this portion of the bracket.
WVU Needs Double OT To Down Ohio State
The Mountaineers moved onto the Sweet 16 but it took the number one seed 104 minutes to earn that ticket. West Virginia controlled much of play and generated ample opportunities but failed to get enough of them on frame. Of the 26 shots WVU took on the night, only four were on frame. To be fair, the Mountaineers hit the woodwork on several occasions, so not all the off-target shots were of poor quality.
Nonetheless, the game-winner came three minutes into the second overtime period from Michaela Abam. Abam took a shot from the sideline from an improbable angle. The shot hit Devon Kerr’s hands and went into the net. It was Abam’s team-leading 11th goal. The stingy Mountaineers backline held the Buckeyes to just five shots for their 16th shutout of the season. West Virginia will face UCLA in the next round.
Northwestern defeats SIUE 1-0
Juli Rossi was the hero last week for the making several keys saves during the game and ensuing penalty shootout for SIUE. In the second round, however, her eight saves wouldn’t be enough to keep the Cougars’ season alive. The Wildcats took the contest 1-0 on a goal in the tenth minute by Kassidy Gorman. Gorman’s eventual game winner came when Kaitlin Moore slipped Gorman a through ball. Gorman then eluded a SIUE defender and Rossi for the tally. The Wildcats’ defense held strong, notching their 17th shutout of the season.
Northwestern failed to build on its early lead despite putting a total of nine shots on frame. The Cougars, meanwhile, managed just two. The Wildcats advance to the third round of the tournament for the first time since 1998. Click here for a full report on the game.
UCLA Wins Defeats Nebraska 2-0
The Bruins sent the Cornhuskers packing with a 2-0 victory Friday Afternoon. UCLA got on the board early with a 4th-minute goal by Annie Alvarado. The opening tally came from a scrum in front of the goal that Nebraska defense failed to clear. Canadian sensation Jessie Fleming was credited with the assist. Fleming would play a part in the team’s insurance goal late in the game as well. Fleming ultimately started the scoring sequence that culminated in Amber Munerlyn finishing far post beyond the reach of Nebraska keeper Aubrei Corder.
Nebraska managed to put only two shots on frame in the contest. UCLA advances to play West Virginia on Sunday. The match will feature three important cogs in Canada’s bronze medal run last summer.
Duke Advances 3-1 over Illinois State
Senior striker Toni Payne’s two goals led the Blue Devils over the Redbirds Friday night. Despite taking 18 shots in the first half, Duke was unable to get on the board. The deadlock was broken just after halftime, however, as Payne struck for the first time in the 48th minute. Payne received a long pass from Imani Dorsey, Illinois State keeper Haley Smith came out to challenge Payne. The speedy forward dribbled around her and slotted the ball into the back of the next for the tally.
The Redbirds would answer in the 75th minute to tie the game. The goal came off a corner that the Blue Devils failed to clear. Brooke Ksiazek put it away for the Redbirds and Lauren Koehl was credited with the assist.
The game would not stay tied for long as Payne found the back of the net again in the 78th minute. She charged upfield with the ball, eluding defenders and took a shot from just outside the box. Duke would put the game out of reach in the 79th minute when Casey Martinez scored directly off a free kick from just outside the box. Duke, the only 2015 College Cup participant still alive, advances to play Northwestern Sunday.