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Women’s Soccer Advances to Regional Semifinals of NCAA Tournament
11/12/2003

FROSTBURG, MD - Frostburg State University advanced to the regional semifinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in program history with a 3-2 win over Westminster College Wednesday afternoon at Frostburg. FSU received the game-winning goal from junior Becky Rambo (Hereford/Freeland, Md.) with just over two minutes remaining in the game to extend its winning streak to 12 matches.

Westminster finishes its season 16-7. The Bobcats will advance and play #1 seeded Scranton (20-0-1) on Saturday, November 15th at 5:00 pm at Muhlenburg College.

With 2:05 remaining, Rambo charged at a loose ball and was able to get past the Titan defense for a one-on-one run at the goal. Rambo made one move to the right around a diving junior goalkeeper Laura Vollmer (Butler/Butler, Pa.) and simply rolled the ball in for the game-winner.

“We came together as a team and we proved what kind of desire we have,” said Rambo about Westminster who knocked FSU out of the NCAA Tournament last season. “We played a strong game for 90 minutes and we came out on top.”

Frostburg State had its chance to take an early 1-0 lead as in the 14th minute junior Karen Kotofski (Northeast/Glen Burnie, Md.) received a pass from junior Aimee Sprague (Yarmouth/Yarmouth, Mass.) but Vollmer was able to make a spectacular diving save off the one-timer.

Westminster used the momentum to take the lead as junior Angie DePascale (Hubbard/Warren, Ohio) scored the first of her two goals on the day. She received a service pass across the box from freshman Christa Andamasaris (Champion/Warren, Ohio) and headed it into an open net in the 20th minute.

Five minutes later, the Bobcats tied the game as Kotofski scored the first of her two goals on the afternoon. She received a pass from junior Beth Yetter (Holy Cross-MC/Silver Spring, Md.) and rocketed a shot from about 25 yards out over the goalkeeper’s fingertips to knot the game at 1-1 going into halftime.

In the second half, FSU took its first lead of the afternoon as Kotofski struck again in the 52nd minute. This time, sophomore Beth Hlebasko (Linganore/New Market, Md.) served a free kick into the box and Kotofski flicked the ball over the head of Vollmer for the 2-1 lead.

Kotofski’s added to her FSU single-season record of 24 goals and breaks her single-season points record of 49 points set in 2001, as she now has 53 points.

With 35 minutes remaining the Bobcats came close to adding an insurance goal as freshman Danielle Carter (Rockville/Rockville, Md.), the AMCC Newcomer of the Year, had three shots at the goal with Vollmer making one save and Titan defender Sharon Griffin (Canfield/Boardman, Ohio) making the others.

Two minutes later, the Titans pulled even when Andamasaris sent a crossing pass from the near side to DePascale who sent an easy one-timer into an open net.

The Titans had a great chance to go ahead with 21 minutes left as freshman forward Courtney Thompson (Indiana/Indiana, Pa.) found herself all alone with only senior Stephanie Zych (Guilderland/Slingerlands, N.Y.) between her and the goal. Thompson took two touches and fired a shot at goal, but a charging Zych was able to get into position and make a tremendous diving save to keep the game deadlocked.

“I just wanted to come out and cut the angle down,” said Zych. “I didn’t want to allow a goal and ruin what we had worked so hard to accomplish.”

The game seemed destined for overtime, but Rambo with two minutes left was able to hustle down a loose ball and control herself in a very dramatic play to lift the Bobcats to the victory.

“Soccer matches have that moment when the teams are tired and something special will happen,” said Parker. “We had a great combination up front, and Rambo made a great decision to beat the keeper with the dribble. It was a very composed finish in a dramatic moment in the game and we are advancing because of it.”

The Bobcats held strong in the final two minutes, not allowing any scoring opportunities to preserve the 3-2 lead.

“All the credit has to go to the girls for gutting this one out,” said Parker. “Tied 2-2 with the season on the line, something special happened for us.”

“We’re just going to play soccer, we are going to play the type of game that we have played all season and hope for the best,” said Kotofski on the Bobcats next opponent.”

Post Game Quotes from Head Coach Brian Parker:

About Kotofski’s performance today and throughout the season - “If you want to win big soccer games you have to have special players and Karen is one of those players,” said head coach Brian Parker. “She has a nose for the goal and can change gears at any moment. She was able to do some magical things today, she defines the laws of physics sometimes like on her second goal this afternoon.”

About facing Scranton - “Obviously there are not many teams left in the tournament. It is the best teams in the country and we knew we would run into a brick wall sooner or later and it looks like that will be Scranton this weekend. We know they have not allowed many goals, but we will do our research and try and counter their habits.”

About facing Scranton - “Hopefully we can perform well and put in a good showing.”

About getting revenge over Westminster - “It is ironic that we win the regular season game and the tournament game at home, we as last season we lost in the regular season and the tournament at Westminster.”

About Zych’s second half breakaway save - “Zych is going to come up big in important situations on a regular basis to keep us in games. She was as much of a hero today as anyone with a fantastic save on that breakaway.”

About Hlebasko’s play today and on the season - “Beth had developed into a leader, she can stay home defensively and come forward and add help in the attack with her long serves.”

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780
E-mail: sportsinfo@frostburg.edu