WILMINGTON, N.C. – It was a difficult end to a successful season for
the University of Delaware women's soccer team Sunday afternoon.
The Blue Hens fell to host UNCW, 4-3, on penalty kicks after taking a
1-1 tie through double overtime in the first round of the Colonial
Athletic Association Women's Soccer Championships on a blustery
afternoon at the UNCW Soccer Stadium.
The No. 6 seed Delaware Blue Hens, who had defeated the Seahawks 1-0
back on Sept. 30, ended their season with a 9-8-1 record. Per NCAA
rules, both teams that compete in shootout situations are credited with
a tie despite one team advancing.
No. 3 seed UNCW improved to 13-6-1 to advance to the CAA semifinals Nov.
2 vs. No. 2 seed Drexel on the campus of William & Mary. No. 1 seed
William & Mary will take on No. 5 seed Hofstra in the other semifinal
game. The title game is set for Nov. 3 in Williamsburg.
"It was a great game and both teams played their hearts out," said
Delaware head coach Scott Grzenda, who also led his team to the CAA
Tournament semifinals in 2011. "We played as well as we could play and
created the way we created all year."
After the teams played to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two 10-minute
overtime periods, the game went to a penalty kick shootout. In the
penalty kicks format, each team selects five players to shoot on goal
with the team that scores the most advancing to the next round of the
In the shootout, Delaware's first three kicks by Gina DiTaranto, Anna
Lenczyk, and Dianna Marinaro all found their way into the back of the
UNCW goal. UNCW goalkeeper Caitlin Hunter stopped the final two shots by
UD's Andie Arnold and Ali Miller to secure the win. The Seahawks
clinched the victory as four of their five shots found the back of the
net past Delaware goalkeeper Jess Levy.
"Penalty kicks are something that puts the individual above the team and
I think we did amazing on the team side," Grzenda added. "We went to the
penalty kicks and they have an outstanding goaltender who made two saves."
The Seahawks collected the first goal of the match to take a 1-0 lead at
the 6:54 mark after Maddie McCormick gathered a loose ball five yards in
front of UD's goal and knocked it into the lower right corner of the net
for her seventh goal of the season.
With less than 10 minutes left in the second half, Delaware's Miller
smashed the ball into the lower right corner of the net from a helpful
assist from Laura Klebe for the game-tying goal, 1-1. The goal was
Miller's team-high seventh of the season and 29th of her stellar career,
the fourth highest total in UD history.
The Blue Hens had several offensive opportunities during the two
overtime periods as Delaware outshot UNCW 4-2 in the 20 extra minutes
and 19-13 in the match.
Delaware's eight seniors, Tania Domingos, Klebe, Lenczyk, Miller,
Melissa Pennington, Polly Reinicker, Taya Richardson, and Taylor
Thompson completed their four-year playing career with the Blue Hens.
"Not often do eight teammates make the four-year commitment that these
seniors gave to the University," Grzenda stated. "Their footprint will
be a part of this program for years to come."
Scoring Summary: 1st Half – UNCW - Maddie McCormick (7) (unassisted),
6:54 into game; 2nd Half – DELAWARE - Ali Miller (7) (Laura Klebe),
80:48; Overtime - No Scoring; Shootout: UNCW wins 4-3; Shots: UD – 19,
UNCW – 13; Saves: UD – 5 (Jess Levy, 45 min., 1 goal, 3 assists; Jess
Figueroa, 65 min., 0 goals, 2 saves); UNCW – 9 (Caitlin Hunter); Corner
Kicks: UD – 3, UNCW – 4; Fouls: UD – 9, UNCW – 8; Offsides: UD – 0, UNCW
– 1; Attendance: 246.