Posted: Nov 8, 2012 8:04 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2012 9:37 PM
PARKVILLE, MO -- In their first year of existence, the Columbia College women's soccer team wrapped up a great season on Thursday in the American Midwest Conference Championship game. As the No. 2 seed in the tournament, the Cougars fell to top seeded Park University 2-1 in double overtime Thursday afternoon to finish their inaugural season at 10-10-0. With the win, the Park Pirates will move on to the NAIA National Championships held later in November.
The first 45 minutes was very much a defensive battle for the two teams as there was just three shots on goal between the two teams. However the Cougars were able to find a way to connect and take a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute of play. Stephanie Hale's free kick from 28-yards out coasted over the Pirate wall and into the top of the net. The Cougars took the advantage into the break.
Park knotted up the score in the 54th minute off a free kick as the initial touch on the ball found a Pirate forward just behind the Cougar defender. The Pirates found the back of the net when the ball rolled under the hands of diving Cougar keeper Erica Ramirez. After the score, Ramirez made back-to-back saves in the 69th minute to keep the Cougars in the game as the pressure of the Pirate offense increased. But the Cougar defense held off the Pirates as the game was pushed to overtime.
The first overtime period proved unsuccessful for both programs as the game was forced to a second overtime period. Unfortunatly for Columbia, the Pirates struck immediately in the second 10 minute period, finding the net from 25 yards-out as the ball went just over the top of Ramirez's fingertips for the victory.
Following Thursday's game members of the all-conference team were announced. Defender Mallory Page received honorable-mention accolades while forward Kelly Ross, defender Elise Castellanos and midfielder Stephanie Hale all took home First Team Honors. In addition, Hale was also named the league's Newcomer of the Year.