Women’s soccer loses in SoCon Tourney due to penalty kicks

The quarterfinal match of the SoCon Tournament was expected to be close, pitting the fifth-ranked Catamounts against the fourth-ceded College of Charleston. The game did not disappoint as the Catamounts. Much of the game was tied 1-1, leading to two overtime periods and finally resulting in a WCU loss 10-9 off of penalty kicks. College of Charleston started the scoring in the 21st minute of play. Sophomore Chrissy Caruso crossed a free kick into the corner, and then received another cross from her teammate to head a goal past the WCU goalkeeper. Western trailed 1-0 early in the second half when sophomore Shanna Schmoker collected a shot that ricocheted off the goal post and scored to draw the score even. Senior Lauren Atkinson had a chance on goal, just missed as her header toward goal was saved by the Charleston goalie. The game remained tied until the end of regulation and the two ten-minute overtime periods. The rules for tournament play are a little different from the soccer the Cats play in the regular season, in that a game cannot end in a tie. NCAA rules state that if the score remains tied after two overtime periods, then five players from each side take 1-on-1 shots against the opposing goalkeeper until a winner is decided. Senior Heather Dittmer scored first and the Cougars answered to draw even. Western then took a one goal lead as Bri Cunningham scored and goalkeeper Caitlin Williams came up with a huge save. Western’s next two shooters both scored and were matched by College of Charleston to set up sophomore Nikki Lombardo for the go-ahead goal. Lombardo missed high and Charleston was able to score to extend the shootout to an additional five shooters.The next five kickers from Western, Nikki Collins, Jenny Matteson, goalkeeper Caitlin Williams, Rebekah Mumm and Melissa Berry, all scored but were matched evenly by C of C’s girls. The rotation then started over with Dittmer being denied by Charleston goalie Sarah Wiggers, and Danielle Jordan beat Williams for the game winner.This loss ends the Catamount season, while College of Charleston moves on to face top ranked UNCG next week. The final match of the 2007 season concluded the careers of six Catamount seniors: Lauren Atkinson (Marietta, Ga.), Melissa Berry (Matthews, N.C.), Bailey Culp (Richmond, Va.), Leah Daino (Statesville, Ga.), Heather Dittmer (Marietta, Ga.) and Rebekah Mumm (Asheville, N.C.).