Women’s soccer wins 2-1 in thrilling shootout

By Jimmy Halmhuber

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Oakland women’s soccer (7-10-2) played Cleveland State (8-9-3) in a Horizon League quarterfinal Monday night. Oakland beat 2-1 Cleveland State in a penalty shoot-out after the 10th round.

Oakland last played Cleveland State in the regular season and won 2-1 Oct. 25. Oakland leads the all-time series 2-0.

In the beginning it was back and forth with many giveaways. The game finally settled down about ten minutes in. Oakland had most of the possessions. While a Cleveland State defender had the ball around the 14-minute mark, it was stolen by Alice Palmer who then had a breakaway toward the goal.

She shot it to the top left corner to make it 1-0 Oakland. The goal seemed to wake up Cleveland State, because a few minutes later CSU had an opportunity off of a free kick. They put it into the box and scored after a scrum in the box.   

Oakland came out on fire in the second half. Oakland had a lot of chances, but they couldn’t finish at the goal. Cleveland State was playing the counter attacking game, getting down the field as fast as possible when they had numbers.

They also had their chances, but they couldn’t convert. The score line didn’t change so the game went to overtime 1-1.

The defensive strategy worked as Oakland survived both overtimes. However, Oakland failed to score as well, so it went to a penalty shoot-out.

“We had actually prepared for PKs,” OU head coach Margaret Saurin said. “We talked to our girls, we asked them who was comfortable and confident taking PKs. We watched them take a few PKs. From there we put the order together; the girls knew exactly who was going when.”

The first two players from both sides made their penalties. Then Erin O’Toole from Cleveland State missed her PK. The next two Oakland players made theirs. The next player from Cleveland made theirs.

Had Joan Sieja made her penalty kick, Oakland would have win. She missed her shot, and a CSU player missed her shot to take it down to one last shot.

Mia Leibold stepped up to take the penalty to win it for Oakland. Mia had not played a single minute the entire game. She stepped up and came through in the scored. The whole team ran out and dog piled on top of her.

Oakland moves on to play the University of Detroit Mercy in the semifinals at Valparaiso.