Late Goal Lifts Nebraska over UW in NCAA Tournament
Nov. 14, 2003
PORTLAND, Ore. - Jenna Cooper assisted on the opening goal and scored the game-winner with less than two minutes remaining Friday, lifting Nebraska to a 2-1 victory over 25th-ranked Washington in the first round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament at Merlo Field.
Cooper blasted a low 30-yard free kick from the right side, just outside the box. The ball brushed the outside of Washington's defensive wall, trickled through the box and carried just inside the left post at 88:21.
'She hit the ball hard and low so it just hit one of our defenders and snuck inside the left post,' UW coach Lesle Gallimore described. 'Soccer is a game of inches and the one they snuck in at the end could just as well have been one of ours that instead hit the post or ricocheted off a defender.'
The hard-luck Huskies ended the season with an 11-7-3 record. Washington lost despite outshooting the Cornhuskers 20-10 and controlling the run of play for the majority of the 90 minutes. Only three shots were directed on goal by Nebraska which converted two of them. The Huskies fired 12 shots directly on goal, but three of them were cleared off the line by Nebraska defenders and another caromed off the crossbar.
'This was one of the best games we played all year. From the statistics, we clearly had enough chances to win the game,' Gallimore said. 'Today, out of 20 shots we had 12 of them on goal and that's usually enough to win.'
The Cornhuskers opened the scoring on an 18th-minute tally set up by a free kick. Cooper's kick from the left side was deflected right back to her. She then sent a cross toward the right post that was headed in by Jessie Bruch from five yards out. Nebraska led 1-0 at halftime despite an 11-5 shot deficit.
The Huskies had two dangerous chances in the waning moments of the first half. Liz Taylor lofted a 30-yard shot in the 43rd minute that was barely tipped over the crossbar by Nebraska goalkeeper Katie Wright. In the 44th minute, Kelley Schweighart fired a low 15-yard shot past Wright, but defender Lindsey Ingram was on the goal line to clear the ball away.
Wright was credited with eight saves for NU while senior Lisa Brookens saved one shot for the Huskies.
Washington sophomore Kim Taylor netted the equalizer 12 minutes into the second half on a 15-yard strike. She quickly collected the ball off an errant clearance by Ingram and booted it into the upper right corner at 57:13.
'Their defender didn't have a good clearance and it came to me,' Taylor said. 'I knew I had to hit it hard because there were a ton of people in the box.'
That was a rare misplay by a Cornhusker defender. Twice in the second half, UW shots were denied at the goal line by defensive players. Taylor had a 12-yard attempt in the 65th minute cleared by Ashley Carter and Katie Bunkers blocked a shot by Tina Frimpong in the 77th minute.
Nebraska (13-7-1) advances to the tournament's second round to play defending national champion Portland on Sunday. The eighth-seeded Pilots defeated Denver 1-0 Friday on a goal by Lindsay Huie in the 22nd minute.
The Huskies were making their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, all of them under 10th-year coach Lesle Gallimore. This was the fourth time that Washington's season ended with a postseason game in Portland. The previous three UW playoff losses in the Rose City came against the host Pilots, in 1995, 1996 and 2001.
'It's disappointing to go out in the first round with what I felt was one of our best teams at Washington,' Gallimore remarked. 'We were a good enough team to win this game, it just didn't happen.'
NCAA WOMEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT -- 1st Round
Nebraska 2, (#25) Washington 1
Merlo Field; Portland, Ore.
Scoring -- 1, NU, Jessie Bruch (Jenna Cooper), 17:59. 2, UW, Kim Taylor, 57;13. 3, NU, Jenna Cooper, 88:21.
Shots -- UW 20, NU 10.
Saves -- UW 1 (Lisa Brookens), NU 8 (Katie Wright).
Corner Kicks -- UW 3, NU 5.
Fouls --- UW 6, NU 14.
Offsides -- UW 1, NU 1.
Attendance -- 942