Women's DI Tournament Second Round Review
Read as the second round of the women’s NCAA tournament continued a trend of outstanding individual performances, late-game heroics, and outrageous goals.
Missimo scored to give her 26 goals on the season, tied for the national lead, but the assist to equalize the game provided a bit of history as it gave the Texas superstar 20 on the season. That adds up to 72 points on the year, which is tied for the 15th most in NCAA D1 history and is the fifth best in the 21st century behind Christine Sinclair (2005) Portland - 88, Catarina Macario (2019) Stanford – 87, Abby Wambach (2001) Florida – 76, Lindsay Tarpley (2003) North Carolina – 73. Not bad company to be in, wouldn’t you say?
Cinderella Continues Dancing
The ‘C’ in UC Irvine may officially have to be changed to Cinderella as the Anteaters achieved another upset to move on to the third round. This time, the victim was eight-seeded Gonzaga as a Laila El Behery 5th-minute goal, and Lilli Rask's 17th-minute strike was all UC Irvine needed to hold on and eventually win 2-1. Next up is a date with Nebraska in a game where no one should doubt the California side.
Fifteen minutes left in the game, and Pittsburgh is down 3-2 away to an Arkansas team that has not lost at home in three seasons. A loss looks like the most likely outcome. But home state legend Ellie Coffield had other plans as she struck a perfect free kick to tie the score in the 77th minute, followed by a header in the 89th to win it all. The two-time Gatorade Pennsylvania State Player of the Year did what clutch players do when it matters most.
Red Raider Hero
It would not have been Madison White’s fault if Texas Tech lost to Princeton. The grad senior had already made six saves in regulation and overtime to keep a clean sheet, which is ordinarily more than enough to win a game. So her two penalty saves in the shootout victory serve as the icing on a well-deserved cake.
See y'all in the Sweet Sixteen 😉 pic.twitter.com/3VFoR9dmXe— Texas Tech Soccer (@TexasTechSoccer) November 18, 2023
Memphis and Saint Louis faced plenty of naysayers going into the tournament, as despite a combined 37-3-2 total, many felt the record was inflated and resulting from a weak schedule in average conferences. The NCAA bought into that narrative, giving both teams a 6-seed despite having a better record than several higher-seeded teams. Those doubts were silenced on Friday night as Memphis defeated Notre Dame away from home, and Saint Louis did the same to Georgetown.
Staying Out Late
Several teams left it late to secure wins, with Pittsburgh and Nebraska scoring 89th-minute game winners and Summer Denigan clinching a Georgia victory over Iowa with her 85th-minute strike. It continues a trend in this tournament of teams showing that it is never too late to win it all.
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