Gutsy Effort Falls Just Short As Last-Minute Goal Sends No. 2 Portland Over UW
Nov. 15, 2009
PORTLAND, Ore. - Despite playing the final 40 minutes of the match a player-down, the Washington women's soccer team was one minute away from forcing overtime against the nation's No. 2-ranked team. Instead, Halley Kreminski tapped in her second goal of the game, ending the Huskies' season in heartbreaking fashion with a 2-1 win in the NCAA Second Round Sunday at Merlo Field.
UW displayed heart and guts in overcoming Chelsea Bumbaugh's second yellow card in a five-minute span to start the second half, bouncing back from a 1-0 deficit on senior Lindsey Kasser's first goal of the season. After Bumbaugh was sent off in the 51st minute, Portland took advantage almost immediately, scoring on Kreminski's first goal in the 55th minute.
But playing short-handed, the Huskies wouldn't quit, taking momentum back immediately and sending a message to the Pilots that they weren't going away. Less than a minute after Portland took the lead, the Huskies worked the ball down to Portland's end and earned a corner kick, which Kasser lined up to take from the near side.
The senior defender, who hadn't scored a goal since her freshman year, sent the corner far post and it curled in perfectly into the top corner of the net to even the score.
The Husky defense and sophomore Kari Davidson played brilliantly throughout the entire second half, blocking shots and sending clearances down the field to keep Portland from running away with it. Davidson made several incredible saves in both halves, including some clutch plays with time winding down.
But Portland, which outshot UW 23-3 for the game, kept the pressure on and finally got the game-winner with just under a minute to play. After a looping shot far post tipped off Davidson's finger tips, Kreminski was waiting in front of the goal to tap in the deflection for the winner.
'I'm extremely proud of how our team fought today,' Washington head coach Lesle Gallimore said. 'This has been a group all year that has really made us proud from that standpoint. We've been down at half and come back and won games from one- or two-goal deficits. We've been a battling team all year and that's kind of become a trademark of ours. It came down to one goal in the last minute and it's heartbreaking, but our kids did everything they could physically and mentally to keep it close.'
Davidson made four saves in the match, but made even more plays that didn't show up in the box score, thwarting crosses and punching out corner kick opportunities throughout the game.
The Pilots outshot UW, 9-1, in the first half when both teams were at full strength but the teams went into the locker room dead even on the scoreboard at 0-0.
Portland put the pressure on from the start of the match but UW weathered the storm. In the fifth minute, Charney Burk took a shot from the top of the box but Davidson leaped and tipped it just over the goal before it had a chance to sneak in below the crossbar.
After the ensuing corner kick, Jessica Tsao fired another shot for the Pilots but a Husky defender blocked it just before it had a chance to sneak past the goal line.
Davidson made another great play in the 17th minute when Danielle Foxhoven got past the Husky defense and had a breakaway chance, but the Husky sophomore came off her line to make a great sliding play and knock the ball away from Portland's All-American.
Portland's best chance to score in the first half came in the 24th minute when Foxhoven got free again this time on the left side and fired a shot far post, but Davidson made a diving save to deflect the ball to her left. Kendra Chandhoke's shot on the rebound went high over the net.
The Huskies managed one shot in the first half off the foot of sophomore Kelli Stewart.
The Huskies came out inspired early in the second half but in the 51st minute, Bumbaugh was given her second yellow card and was sent off after earning her first card just six seconds into the half. UW had to play the rest of the match one-player down which the Pilots immediately took advantage of in the 55th minute when Foxhoven sent a perfect cross over to the left side to Kreminski, who volleyed it in from right in front of the goal.
But Kasser immediately got the equalizer and UW looked like it would have enough defensive plays in them to force overtime. Davidson made another diving stop in the 65th minute and the deflection looked like it would go into the goal, but Alex Kirk made a great goal-line save to keep the score tied.
The magic finally ran out in the 89th minute, however, though the Huskies had one final chance to send it into extra time. UW sent the kickoff down the sidelines and worked their way to another corner kick. Though it was unsuccessful, the Huskies retained possession and had one final chance on a free kick with four seconds left. Nikki Murray lined up an attempt from 30 yards out but her shot went just wide, ending the game and the season for the Huskies.
'I was really excited about the way we came out for the second half. I thought we pressured them into turning the ball over and we were a little better at keeping the ball and stringing some passes together at the beginning of the second half,' Gallimore said. 'Clearly, the disappointment of the two quick yellows and going down a player was a tough circumstance for us to overcome. But again, it was a herculean effort by our team to go down a goal and to come back and tie it and then keep it that close.
'I thought we had a chance to get it into overtime and we had a couple chances to get things going the other direction on re-starts but Portland is a very good team and to play 10 against their 11 was a tall order for our girls. Again, I couldn't be more proud of their mental and physical effort. They fought tooth and nail to the end. As a coach, all you can ask for is for them to leave it all on the field and I thought they did that today.'
UW's season ends in the NCAA Second Round for the second-straight year. The Huskies close out their season with a 12-6-4 record while Portland moves on to the Third Round with a 20-1 mark.
The match was the final appearance for six very talented UW seniors. Veronica Perez finishes her career ranked tied for sixth all-time in UW history in goals and eighth in points. Defender Lindsey Kasser scored her second career goal in her final game on top of her usual outstanding defense, while Bumbaugh, Kirk and Murray all played valiantly in the loss. Alex Phillips did not appear in the match for UW, but was a big part of the Huskies' rebuilding process over the last four years that saw them go from losing seasons their first two years to the NCAA Tournament in their final two years.
'We had a rough first two years and to rebuild the program and get back to the tournament the last two years, we feel really proud of how far we've come,' Perez said. 'To end it here against Portland and the No. 2 seed, we wish we could have won but we played really hard so I'm proud of our team.'
NCAA Women's Soccer
Portland 2, Washington 1
Merlo Field; Portland, Ore.
Scoring - 1, UP, Halley Kreminski (Danielle Foxhoven, Sophie Schmidt), 54:55. 2, UW, Lindsey Kasser (unassisted), 55:43. 3, UP, Halley Kreminski (unassisted), 88:03.
Shots - UW 3, UP 23
Corners - UW 3, UP 10
Saves - UW 4 (Kari Davidson), UP 0 (Kelsey Davis).
Fouls - UW 14, UP 11
Offsides - UW 1, UP 2
Attendance - 3,003