No. 9 Mines Edges No. 13 Roadrunners In Championship Classic
GOLDEN – In what turned out to be one of the most epic championship finishes in recent memory, NSCAA No. 9 Colorado School of Mines outdueled No. 13 MSU Denver, 6-5, in a penalty kick shootout to claim its record fourth consecutive RMAC Tournament trophy Sunday at CSM Soccer Stadium.
Even at 5-5 through seven shootout bouts, junior keeper Jayln Yates made a diving stop on the eighth attempt by MSUD's Taylor Campbell and senior Kenzie King calmly followed with the pivotal score, striping the certain 12-yard look to the upper frame.
Mines (15-1-4), unbeaten in its last eight RMAC postseason matches, became the first team in history to successfully defend its title in three successive seasons, improving to 3-0-1 all-time in the championship.
From the onset, it was clear that scoring chances would once again be limited as the conference's top two defensive sides yielded only three shots in the opening 45:00.
The Roadrunners (14-1-5) outshot the women 11-8 in the second as the pace quickened and were plus-4 in the extra sessions to close with a 17-9 advantage and 5-3 margin in on-goal tries. MSUD was also plus-6 on corners (8-2).
The teams combined for 220:00 scoreless minutes between their two meetings this season.
Yates (15-1-4), voted the RMAC Tournament MVP for the second time in her storied career, turned aside five shots in the scoreless shutout in raising her school single-season record total to 15 in 20 contests – tied for eighth-most in the national archives.
The two-time RMAC Goalkeeper ranks 10th on the Division II career chart with 38 clean slates.
Led by Yates and fellow RMAC All-Tournament Team selections Smith, senior Nicho Cusack and freshman Emily Garnier, Mines established the team records for consecutive shutouts (7) and consecutive scoreless minutes (670:00) during the course of the tournament.
Junior Rachael Turner, the owner of the game-winner in Friday's 1-0 semifinal win against New Mexico Highlands, was also recognized on the All-Tournament squad.
With the automatic NCAA tournament berth in hand, the Orediggers will learn their seeding in next weekend's regional at 5 p.m. on Monday. The selection show is available through www.ncaa.com.